Home Art Juxtapoz Journal – Evaluate: Hodaka’s Far Out and Spot On Modernism

Juxtapoz Journal – Evaluate: Hodaka’s Far Out and Spot On Modernism


Cheers to the Asian Artwork Museum and exhibition organizer Yuki Morishima for presenting the primary solo exhibition of Yoshida Hodaka in america. Hodaka was an influential Japanese artist with a voracious urge for food for innovation and experimentation. Schooled in conventional woodblock print methods, Hodaka seemingly leapt via the trying glass to imbue his work with an exciting exploration of genre-bending topics, scenes, and processes. 

The almost 50 items on show hint Hodaka’s improvement as an artist and the vary of his inventive curiosity, which appears to have been matched and certain fueled by his in depth travels around the globe. Mid-century, Hodaka begins to layer up to date strategies – together with pictures, picture etching, picture switch, and collage – into his woodblock prints. There’s an exuberance, playfulness, and free-thinking pleasure within the work that even in the present day communicates a way of widening potentialities. 

Reasonably than rejecting the custom of nature as subject material, Hodaka merely permits surrealism and slices of popular culture to enter his scenes. In a collection from 1973, the artist created 12 poster-size Zodiac Panorama prints that might simply have been produced to advertise Western bands of the period from psychedelic to prog rock. Collage performs a heavy function within the success of those vignettes, by which the classical traits and motifs of every astrological signal are recast and harmonized with cameos from Hodaka’s life and travels. 

Hodaka apparently visited San Francisco within the Fifties and 60s. One wonders if he ever crossed paths with artists Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse. Little doubt he’d have had the prospect to see their iconic posters for the Grateful Useless and others. Like Hodaka, each Kelley and Mouse have been inventive sponges, impressed by Asian scrolls and ceramics, in addition to Bauhaus, Artwork Nouveau, and Indigenous American Artwork. To not stray too far afield, but it surely’s price noting that Vincent van Gogh was tremendously influenced by Japanese printmaking, which catalyzed his strategy to gentle, spacial results, and colour. 

These connections and cross-pollinations aren’t simply attention-grabbing from the standpoint of artwork historical past. Creativity is a protracted chain made stronger by the way in which publicity to novel concepts pushes us ahead and reinvigorates what’s come earlier than. Artwork is a lens. Hodaka not solely launched a kaleidoscopic shift, however expands the aperture for his viewer, notably in work from the final twenty years of his life. The present culminates with images from the Eighties to 1995, that are lyrical tributes to the sweetness present in probably the most quotidian particulars – from an remoted fireplace hydrant to abraded partitions.

Although many of those pictures have been taken from his visits to overseas lands, Hodaka removes the normal sense of place {that a} {photograph} communicates by slicing up and rearranging the weather. In doing so, he makes the private common. Usually, the ensuing images are magnified, abstracted, and color-washed. Considered subsequent to the feisty Zodiac prints, one feels a less complicated sense of the artist’s pleasure in capturing the feeling that texture or hue in isolation can conjure. They really feel like tone poems; they nonetheless the thoughts and open the spirit. Apparently, Hodaka was additionally a poet. So there you go. —Tamsin Smith

Coloration Journey: Yoshida Hodaka’s Fashionable Prints is on view on the Asian Artwork Museum in San Francisco via Could 1, 2023.


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