(1913 - 1996)
Turning Water Into Wine
Signed: Sadao Watanabe (in white ink).
Size: c. 68.5 x 57.5 cms / c. 26 7/8 x 22 1/2" (Large size)
Limited edition, numbered: # 65/70
Printed on heavy, hand-crumpled momigami paper.
Fine impression, color and condition. - MINT. -
ref. no.: # 732956
Price: € 1,200.00
A large-size, limited edition stencil print, with brushed pigments,
printed on thick momigami paper. - One of the artist's well known
prints depicting biblical scenes.
"WATANABE'S themes are invariably Christian, and this combined with the expressive clarity of hos work has made him relatively well known internationally, although his visual vocabulary is very largely drawn from Japanese folk traditions.
WATANABE was born in Tokyo and had no formal artistic education, but became involved in his twenties with figures in the Folk Art Movement. In 1941 he met Serizawa Keisuke and began to learn from him. Serizawa's pictorial influence is very evident in his post-war work. Watanabe began to make his distinctive prints after 1945 and first exhibited in 1947 at the "Mingeikan" (Folk Art Musuem) in Tokyo.
Through these connections he became influenced by Munakata and exhibited at his (Japanese Print Institute) exhibitions. He became known in the West first through a Japanese contemporary print exhibition in 1958 at St. James's Church in New York and through his print Listening being included in Michener's 'The Modern Japanese Print - An Appreciation' (1962)* where he explained that he was unwilling to comment on his work, a practice he has maintained.
In 1966 one of his designs was printed to form the cover of the College Women's Association of Japan print show catalogue and he has exhibited with them ever since. In 1976 he did a major tour of the USA exhibiting his prints. Watanabe works in a very distinctive style in bright but harmonious colours, usually on hand-crumpled 'momigami' paper."
(Lawrence Smith, "Modern Japanese Prints 1912 - 1989"; British Museum, London, 1994)
*James A. Michener, "The Modern Japanese Print - An Appreciation"; Ch. E. Tuttle Company, 1968; pp. 27-30.
(This section of the book contains a short description by the artist of his working method.)