Japan and the Avant Garde
written by Agnes Husslein-Arco
Hirmer Publishers | ISBN 9783777420448
Paperback – 256 pages
Member’s price: $79.20
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Hundertwasser was a key figure in the international avant-garde art scene in the years just after World War II. This volume takes a close look at an under-studied aspect of his work: the deep influence of Japanese art and philosophy that can be traced in his painting.
Like many European artists in the 1950s, Hundertwasser viewed the Far East as a source of a new, more open concept of art, free of the dispiriting weight of the Western tradition. He was fascinated by the striking woodcuts of Japanese masters Hiroshige and Hokusai, and his study of their work, along with his long-lasting engagement with Taoism and Zen Buddhism, greatly influenced his experimental compositions and action paintings of the period. An early friendship with Akria Kito and his 1961 marriage to his Japanese life partner provided further fuel to Hundertwasser’s artistic explorations.
A beautifully produced volume that offers a wholly new way of thinking about a potent figure in twentieth-century art, Hundertwasser will appeal to fans of the European and Japanese traditions alike.