The Art Institute of Chicago is debuting an exciting new exhibit this summer – “Onchi Koshiro: The Abstract Prints.” This exhibit is among the most significant displays of his work to date, as the Art Institute of Chicago is one of only a few museums with a significant collection of his works. The exhibit will open on July 19th (that’s this Saturday!) and run through October 5th.
Koshiro was an influential Japanese artist and the founder of the “sosaku hanga” movement in printing-making. He who produced much of his work in the 1930s and 40s. He is best known for his innovative and creative printmaking techniques that bucked generations of traditional Japanese printmaking methods. Koshiro’s self-proclaimed influences include Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky and the psychedelic work of Edvard Munch. Koshiro’s prints are indeed characterized by similar qualities of color, lines, and abstract shapes. The print as a genre – with its plethora of potential materials – was especially suited to his aesthetic.
Koshiro rarely produced multiples of his prints (it is more common in printmaking to reproduce a work several times), so his works are rare. The Art Institute of Chicago was fortunate to acquire many of his pieces from a donation by Oliver Statler in the 1960s and their acquisitions department has been collecting them since. This exhibit is a rare chance to see such unique print work, and although it’s a small collection, it’s definitely worth seeing.
Other special exhibits currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago include “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary,” “When the Greeks Ruled Egypt,” and “Around the World in Travel Sketches,” among many others. These rotating exhibits span a breadth of subject matter and artistic genre, so every art lover is bound to find something inspiring in the collection. We recommend that you devote an entire afternoon to the Art Institute in order to fully appreciate the Onchi Koshiro exhibit and all of the museum’s impressive collections.
All images courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.