Craftsmanship and Wit
Modern Japanese Prints from the Collection of Carol and Seymour Haber
NOV 4, 2017 – APR 1, 2018
This fall, the Museum will celebrate the legacy of Carol (1932–2015) and Seymour Haber (1929–2012), longtime friends of and donors to the Portland Art Museum. Drawn exclusively from gifts and promised gifts from the Habers, this exhibition explores their personal vision and brilliant, insightful taste for Japanese modern art.
The Habers were astute connoisseurs of fine craftsmanship, which led them to assemble an impressively diverse collection of prints, books, and ceramics by contemporary Japanese artists. They loved to host visiting artists from Japan, and often had wonderful anecdotes about how they acquired their works. The selection presented here includes the work of internationally renowned masters, such as Munakata Shikō, whose bold monochrome woodblock prints redefined the possibilities of that time-honored process, and Hamaguchi Yōzō, whose meticulous mezzotints inspired an entire generation to take up that demanding technique. Other artists, less well known in the West but equally fascinating, include Ida Shōichi, a conceptual artist known for his innovative printmaking processes, and Kurosaki Akira, whose vividly colored abstractions often disguise a naughty sense of humor. The collection reveals an abiding attraction to rich color and textures, and to works with a sense of humor, charm, and whimsy.
Organized by the Portland Art Museum and curated by Jeannie Kenmotsu, Ph.D., Japan Foundation Assistant Curator for Japanese Art.