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Tag: healthy cultural exchange

Cultural exchange and a Japanese Cubist

This week’s Artdog Image of Interest:

Cultural exchange flows both ways, or it isn’t an exchange. In earlier posts this month, I’ve explored Japonisme in Europe, and the influence of Katsushika Hokusai’s prints on the French painter Paul Cézanne. Japanese art clearly changed the look of Western art in many ways.

But did Western art have any effect on the art of Asia? Indeed it did, and here is an example. Today, I’d like you to meet Tetsugoro Yorozu‘s Leaning Woman

Tetsugoro was part of the Japanese Yōga (“Western-style”) art movement at the turn of the 20th Century. Although he died when he was only 41 (of tuberculosis), he was an influential painter in his day. Fascinated with Western-style art from an early age, he traveled to the US to study art, but had to return almost immediately to Japan, because of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. 

He experimented with a variety of Western styles, but he is best known for promoting Cubism in Japan. Tetsugoro’s Leaning Woman currently resides in the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, Japan.

No matter where they originate, exciting new ways of looking at the world will always beguile artists–no matter where they originate.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Wikipedia for the image of Leaning Woman.

When cultures meet, stuff happens

The Artdog Image of Interest 

This week’s Image of Interest is The Japanese Parisian, painted by the Belgian painter Alfred Stevens in 1872. It was painted during a time period when Europe had begun trading with a newly-opened Japan (the Meiji Era), and many European artists, intellectuals and elites were seized with a deep fascination with Japanese art and culture.

Japonisme, as this fascination was called, influenced many aspects of European culture and arts. It inspired and revolutionized the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, including Monet, Degas, Van GoghGaugin, and Whistler, as well as the Art Nouveau movement.

The allure of the exotic, the fascination with other cultures and their arts, is a human reaction we’ve seen in many times and places. But when is it a healthy cultural exchange, and when is it cultural appropriation?

I plan to spend some time this month looking at that and related questions, as we move toward Halloween, the Days of the Dead, and all the opportunities to explore other cultures–or cross inappropriate lines–that abound at this time of year.

OUR IMAGE: Many thanks to Mimi Matthews for a very nice image of one of Alfred Stevens’s more famous paintings.

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