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GEKKO Japanese Woodblock Print WHITE RABBIT ON WHITE BACKGROUND 1930s

$145.00

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Availability: 1 available

GEKKO Japanese Woodblock Print WHITE RABBIT ON WHITE BACKGROUND 1930s

OGATA GEKKO

Rabbit


Date: 1930s
Size: shishiki-ban, approx. 10.25" x 9.7"
Condition: VG, minor flaws, uncirculated print, never framed
Impression: VG, tight registration and solid key lines
Color: Fine, deep saturated color and bleed through to verso
Provenance: from the Robert O. Muller estate (see below for more information) 

ABOUT GEKKO (1859-1920)
Gekko was a Japanese-style painter and printmaker. He was also a designer of pottery and lacquerware. Gekko was orphaned at the age of 16. The teenage Gekko survived by designing rickshaws and selling his drawings. His rickshaws were shown at the Interior Exhibition of Industrial Design as examples of fine contemporary craftsmanship. It didn't take long for his exceptional artistic talent to be recognized. After this and after producing an immense number of paintings and sketches, he was recognized by such important figures as the artist Kawanabe Kyosai (often credited for 'discovering' Gekko) and the famous Ogata family, direct descendants of one of Japan's most celebrated artists, Ogata Korin (who was himself older brother to the legendary artist, Ogata Kenzan). Ogata Koya adopted him and the young artist appended their family name to the name he gave himself, Gekko, which means 'Moonlight'. 

He was a founding member of the Bunten and a frequent prize winner at its exhibitions. He served as an illustration during the Sino-Japanese War and many triptychs depicting battles of the war are attributed to him. Gekko was first influenced by the style of Kikuchi Yosai, but later developed an amusing way of treating genre subjects after a studying the ukiyo-e style on his own.

WHO WAS ROBERT O. MULLER?
Robert O. Muller first encountered Japanese prints in the 1930s as a student in New York City. As a newly wed in 1940 he went on a print shopping tour to Japan with his wife where he met the shin hanga publisher Watanabe Shozaburo and Watanabe's stable of artists including: Kawase Hasui, Shiro Kasamatsu, and Ito Shinsui. He also met and befriended Hiroshi Yoshida.

After WWII, Muller continued to deal in Japanese prints, but he was also an avid collector with a keen eye for good art. Although the Muller Collection is best known for shin hanga, Mr. Muller also collected late nineteenth century prints and good reproductions of famous Edo masters.

When Mr. Muller passed away on April 10, 2003, he had left possibly the largest and finest collection of 20th century Japanese prints in the world, and the question of what would become of his well known collection was a major topic among Japanese print collectors. The finest 20th century prints from his collection were given as a gift to the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., and an exhibit was mounted. Other portions of the collection were sold at auction and still more remains with his heirs. Several books have been published about the collection.


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