The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University is pleased to announce the exhibition Saitō Kiyoshi: Master of Design, open March 3 through August 7, 2022, in the Rhonda and Anthony Moravec Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Gallery. Curated by the Eskenazi Museum's Pamela Buell Curator of Asian Art, Judith A. Stubbs, the exhibition explores the work of Japanese printmaker Saitō Kiyoshi (1907–1997), whose long career spanned most of the twentieth century.
Saitō's sense of design and bold use of texture and color employed in the depiction of people, places, and animals endears him to his admirers. His manipulation of three-dimensional space, which dynamically melds the identifiable with the abstract, makes for vibrant, unforgettable designs that continue to captivate. This exhibition focuses on works from the 1950s and '60s when Saitō began to attract the attention of dealers and collectors at home and in the West. The decades after World War II saw a reimagining of the art of the woodblock print medium as well as its revitalization by innovative artists looking to meld Japan's artistic lineage with the demands of a contemporary nation. With active support from the U.S. State Department for exhibitions and sales of arts and crafts through Post Exchanges (PX) and other locations, such as the 1948 Salon Printemps in Tokyo sponsored by Americans for Japanese artists, Saitō's work achieved a large international audience.
Of the exhibition, Pamela Buell Curator of Asian Art, Judith A. Stubbs, commented, "I am pleased to present Saitō's work to our guests. His sense of design and bold use of texture and color employed in the depiction of people, places, and animals has endeared him to his admirers and collectors."
"We are excited to present the work of this beloved Japanese printmaker, whose work has visual appeal. This exhibition provides an opportunity to highlight our excellent Japanese print collection, which includes more than 1,900 examples of amazing works of art," remarked David A. Brenneman, the Eskenazi Museum's Wilma E. Kelley Director.
Saitō Kiyoshi: Master of Design is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue co-published by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Scala Arts Publishers. The exhibition includes works from the Eskenazi Museum's collection and loans from the Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.