New York Japan Society “Shikō Munakata: A Way of Seeing” Dec. 10, 2021 – Mar. 20, 2022

Shikō Munakata, Mukō-machi: Crossing Point of Highways, from the Tōkaidō Series, 1964 (detail). Photograph by Nicholas Knight.

Japan Society, New York
Shikō Munakata: A Way of Seeing
December 10, 2021 – March 20, 2022

This new presentation of nearly 100 path-breaking works by celebrated artist Shikō Munakata (1903-1975) is organized from Japan Society’s rare collection—the largest Munakata collection in the United States. Primarily known for his powerfully expressive woodblock prints, this exhibition reveals the breadth of Munakata’s oeuvre, which spanned from prints to calligraphy, sumi ink paintings, watercolors, lithography, and ceramics.

With his bold, spontaneous, and sketch-like lines, Munakata developed an innovative style that revolutionized the woodblock print. A highlight of the installation is his complete Tōkaidō Series (1964), a set of 61 newly rediscovered prints that depict scenes the artist witnessed while traveling along the vital coastal route between Tokyo and Kyoto, which Munakata extended to Osaka. This full set will be on view for the first time since 1965.

No matter the medium, Munakata’s artistic explorations were characterized by a spirited curiosity and relentless experimentation. Munakata incorporated diverse sources and inspiration in his dynamic works, including Japanese folk tales, Buddhism, Western literature and poetry, and nature motifs, represented by works in the exhibition.

The exhibition underscores Munakata’s first visit to the United States in 1959 as a Fellow in Japan Society’s Print Artists Program, and includes works he made expressly for Japan Society during his time in New York. Original, experiential exhibition design is by New York- and Barcelona-based MAIO Architects.

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Admission: $12/$10 students and seniors.

ON-SALE DATES FOR TIMED TICKETS
Members:
November 11
General Public: December 2

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