Dyed paper stencil
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Ward 1982.355
Watanabe is associated with the Japanese folk art movement
that admired traditional crafts, like stencil, for their
unpretentiousness. Here, Watanabe employed wrinkled
handmade paper, commonly used for book covers and
endpapers, to add texture to the broad areas of flat color and
to emphasize the rough, handcrafted quality of his prints.
The unsophisticated, folk-like images allude to early Japanese
Buddhist prints, in which black lines, rich color contrasts,
and simple naïve forms are paramount. Being a Christian,
Watanabe often chose religious themes from the Bible.
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