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Munakata Show in NYC

I just came back from a wonderful show of the woodcuts of Shiko Munakata
at the Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street (directly opposite the United
Nations). Munakata was arguably the greatest Japanese printmaker of the
twentieth century, and this show has some works that should interest any
lettering/book artist: a copy of the "Heart" Sutra in accordion book form,
the flyleaf illustration to a collection of images, two woodcut
illustrations for another Sutra in which the text and image are in perfect
balance (titles: "a yellow weasel among the spring onions," and "peaches
and bats.")  My favorite view was the back room, in which the title of a
sutra was hung next to a traditional "literati-style" landscape so that
the brushwork in one contrasted with the brushwork in the other, despite
the different readings one might give to each. The show has been extended
to September 27th.

Paul Werner, New York City

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