Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena
Brushstrokes and Blooms:
The Calligraphy and Ikebana of
January 18 – April 13
Shizuko Greenblatt was born into a samurai family and was trained in various artistic traditions including painting, calligraphy, sculpture and flower arrangement, in both Japan and the United States.
Now based in Los Angeles, she has focused her artistic talents for the past 25 years on dynamic expressionistic paintings that incorporate both calligraphy and Japanese ikebana (flower arranging).
This new solo exhibition, featuring 20 works spanning the last decade of Greenblatt’s calligraphic and floral fusion series, will unite bold and gentle works. In her calligraphic paintings, lively red brushstrokes wash over black strokes – echoed by pitch-black painted branches – in an abstract expressionistic subversion of traditional Japanese calligraphy.
These contrast with more subdued works spotlighting single characters for “flower,” “grass,” “water” and “light,” in gentle tones, painted as though lit by moonlight.
Drawing from the energy of nature and Japanese cultural references, Greenblatt creates powerful mixed-media paintings, sculptures and installations that have been shown internationally.
“I aim to activate and uplift the human soul,” she explains, “by the transformed sculptural elements and traditional Japanese symbolism.”
The exhibition was curated by Meher McArthur, Japanese art historian and Creative Director of the garden.
It may be viewed during the garden’s open hours or by appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org). The works in this exhibition, and future exhibitions, will be for sale, and part of the proceeds will benefit the garden’s educational and cultural programming.