Saito Kiyoshi: Village scene with pagoda
Japan, Showa period, 1940-50s
Colour woodblock print, ink and colour on paper, 43.5 x 27.6 cm, with artist's seal and signature, 1950s. Good colours and overall good condition, slight fading and a scratch in the middle of the print (see photos for details).
Kiyoshi Saitō (Saitō Kiyoshi, April 27, 1907 – November 14, 1997, born in Aizubange, Fukushima), is often credited with earning legitimacy for the sosaku hanga movement by winning a first prize at the 1951 Sao Paulo Biennale with his print Steady Gaze, where it was judged against paintings as well as other prints. Initially a painter himself, Saito was self-taught as a printmaker and strongly influenced by the work of Edward Munch and Piet Mondrian, as well as by that of Onchi. In woodblock printing, Saito masterfully incorporated grain patterns into his figurative compositions; he also worked in collograph and drypoint. Saito's work held great appeal for Western collectors during the 1950s and 60s and remains notable for its combination of cultural sensibilities.