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AZECHI, Umetaro  (1902 - 1999) 'Mourning Mountaineer' - 57
- Nageku yama otoko - 57

Signed:               U. Azechi (in pencil)
Sealed:               U
Date:                   1957
Size:                   dai oban (c. 42 x 29 cms / c. 16 1/2" x 11 3/8")

Limited edition no.:  79/150 (in pencil)

Fine impression with fine, bright colors, very good condition.
Abstract depiction of a crying man wearing mountaineer's clothing; he is holding a dead bird in his arms.

Azechi was born in Ehime prefecture on Shikoku Island in 1902. He began exhibiting his works in 1930, and since then has become known and collected worldwide.
Encouraged by Un-ichi Hiratsuka to exhibit with the Nihon Sosaku-Hanga Kyokai (Japan Creative Print Association), Azechi caught the eye of and was encouraged by Onchi Koshiro and Maekawa Senpan. He exhibited widely and contributed to numerous publications. His prints from the 1920's and 30's depicted landscapes, but after World War II he developed his distinctive angular style using bold colors, usually portraying mountains and mountain men, subjects for which he is best known: most of his artwork reflects a sincere love of the mountains, and his personal belief in simple lifestyles. His subjects are most often drawn from the sights and Ainu folk customs of his native mountains - snowmen, mountaineers and birds. An accomplished mountaineer, who is well known in Japan for his writings about the mountains, Azechi maintained a vigorous lifestyle well into his 90's. He passed away in the Spring of 1999.
Umetaro Azechi works have been exhibited in Sao Paulo, Lugano and Tokyo Biennials and are in the collections of museums worldwide, including: the British Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Art Institute of Chicago and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Helen Merritt / Nanako Yamada, "Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975", Honolulu, 1992.
Helen Merritt, "Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints - The early years", Honolulu, 1990
Oliver Statler, "Modern Japanese Prints: An Art Reborn", Tokyo, 1956.

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