Support: Japanese wove paper
Sheet: 56.7 x 35.7 cm (22 5/16 x 14 1/16 in.); Image: 54 x 33 cm (21 1/4 x 13 in.)
Bequest of John Bonebrake 2015.127
The design of Kabuki Actor was inspired by the kumadori make-up used in certain Kabuki plays. The image is not meant to suggest any particular role or actor, unlike traditional ukiyo-e prints. Shinagawa, who greatly admires the prints of Pablo Picasso, reconciles tradition and innovation, a disparity that has caused much tension in modern Japanese art. "Japanese art can't stay aloof from world currents," Shinagawa confides, "but that doesn't make a Japanese artist any less Japanese." His goal is to realize the essence of traditional ukiyo-e prints-the qualities of line and color-in a modern idiom.
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