Artist unknown, Places Along the Tokaido. Pair of six-panel screens; ink, mineral colors, gofun, and gold on paper with gold leaf; Edo period, circa 1800; H. 66¾ x W. 146½ in. each (169.5 x 372.1 cm). Courtesy Erik Thomsen Gallery.
NEW YORK, NY.- Over a dozen of Europe and the United States’ leading dealers of Japanese art will present exhibitions during New York’s Asia Week, from March 13 to March 22, 2015. The wide spectrum of exhibitions will highlight the breathtaking range of the arts of Japan, from ancient terracottas to scenes of nature and of Japan’s emergent middle class entertainment to recent photographs of bodies emblazoned with tattoos.
In 2015, the Japanese Art Dealers Association will hold its seventh consecutive collaborative exhibition of Japanese art by leading dealers in the field – the only regularly held mini-fair during Asia Week, one that dates back to 2009. JADA 2015: An Exhibition by the Japanese Art Dealers Association will feature over 60 works of art that span 2,000 years. The exhibition will be held at the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 E. 79 St. in New York, for three days only, from March 14 through March 16, 2015.
Asia Week draws to New York curators, art historians, collectors, and aficionados from all over the world for a week of exhibitions that reveal long-hidden masterpieces and fine works of art. It was established in by Sotheby’s in 1992.
“The interest in Japanese art has continued to be robust over the past several years, and in 2015 JADA welcomes several new affiliated galleries to its ongoing effort to highlight exceptional Japanese art during Asia Week,” said Sebastian Izzard, president of the JADA. “Our members and affiliates look forward to a vibrant Asia Week with the arts of Japan among the week’s highlights.”
Among the works in JADA 2015 will be an early bronze Dōka (ritual spear blade) from the Yayoi Period (400 BC-AD 300), exhibited by Mika Gallery, that is in exceptionally fine condition. An early and important 15th century calligraphy, Zen no Kaname, Principle of Zen, by Motsurin Shōtō (d. 1419) will be shown by Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Arts. Shōtō was a prominent calligrapher of the Muromachi period (1392-1573) and a disciple of Ikkyū Sōjun (1394-1481), the noted Zen Buddhist monk and poet. The provenance of Zen no Kaname, Principle of Zen includes Jinkōin Temple, one of the three largest Shingon sect temples in Kyoto.
Other highlights include a remarkable and historically notable pair of circa 1800 six-panel screens, Places Along the Tōkaidō, a highly detailed work that pre-dates Utagawa Hiroshige’s landmark print series, The 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō. The screens feature hundreds of travelers in various landscapes and are both remarkably beautiful and a document that recalls a transitional moment in Japanese culture. They will be exhibited by Erik Thomsen Gallery.
Dating from 1889, nearly a century later, is a pair of hanging scrolls by the 19th century master of several media, Shibata Zeshin (1807–1891), Carp Swimming among Water Plants. The scrolls illustrate the artist’s exquisite technique and his sense of play: the expressions between the creatures is all too human, a quixotic merging of nature and man. The scrolls will be presented by Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art.
Illustrating a love of nature derived from spiritual adulation common in Japanese art are Landscapes and Birds of the Four Seasons, a pair of ink and color on gold-leaf six-panel Kyo-Kano screens (school of Mitsunobu/Takanobu) that date to the early 17th century. The beautifully painted screens, of rich colors and dynamic composition, are in pristine condition and were once in the Kyushu Daimyō collection, which included screens now in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. They will be shown by Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. Oriental Fine Art.
In addition to JADA 2015, the members of JADA will hold exhibitions at their individual galleries: Erik Thomsen Gallery; Koichi Yanagi Oriental Fine Art; Leighton R. Longhi, Inc. Oriental Fine Arts; Mika Gallery; and Sebastian Izzard LLC Asian Art.
Eight prominent galleries affiliated with JADA – one from Asia, two from Europe, and five from the United States – that handle Japanese art will be exhibiting during Asia Week as well: Bachmann Eckenstein Japanese Art, of Basel, Switzerland; Floating World Gallery, of Chicago, IL; Giuseppe Piva Japanese Art, of Milan Italy; Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art, of Kyoto, Japan; Onishi Gallery, of New York, NY; Ronin Gallery, of New York, NY; Scholten Japanese Art of New York, NY; and The Art of Japan, of Medina, WA.
The auction house Bonhams will be active during Asia Week, as well, and Christie’s will be holding its annual auction of Japanese art in April.
Three notable and distinguished galleries that handle Japanese art have become affiliated with JADA in 2015 but will not be exhibiting in New York during Asia Week. Each is based in London, England: Grace Tsumugi Fine Art, Gregg Baker Asian Art, and Malcolm Fairley Ltd.