Kanzan Shimomura Retrospective

Yokohama Museum Of Art

poster for Kanzan Shimomura  Retrospective

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Kanzan Shimomura (1873-1930) was born into a family of Noh actors who served the Kishu Tokugawa family. He studied under Hogai Kano and Gaho Hashimoto from the time he was a child, learning the painting techniques of the Kano school. In 1889, he became a student in the inaugural class of the Tokyo Fine Arts School (the present Tokyo University of the Arts) and studied under president Tenshin Okakura, along with Taikan Yokoyama and Shunso Hishida. Following graduation, the school appointed Shimomura as an assistant professor, but he resigned when Okakura was ousted in an administrative struggle. Shimomura then became a founding member of the Japan Art Institute. He later became one of its leading painters, and is known to have committed himself to creating new styles. In 1913, upon an invitation by businessman Hara Sankei, Shimomura settled in a house in Honmoku, Yokohama, which became his final dwelling place.

Basing his paintings on the established style of the Kano school, he diligently studied the flowing lines and colors of Yamato-e painting, while also incorporating elements of Western painting learned while studying in England and Europe. Studies abroad allowed him to establish a uniquely refined and mellow style of painting. This exhibition, commemorating the 140th anniversary of his birth, offers a comprehensive introduction to Shimomura’s paintings with approximately 140 works. On display are many of his masterpieces, including those from his studies of Kano-style painting in his teens, to those created while reviving the Japan Art Institute, a period during which he demonstrated a mature artistry.

Displayed works will be alternated between Parts 1 and II of the exhibition. Some works are displayed only during this exhibition.

Part I: 12/7–1/8
Part II: 1/10–2/11

[Related Events]
Commemorative Lecture “The Splendor of Kanzan Shimomura”
Date: 1/11 (Sat) 14:00–15:30
Venue: Yokohama Museum of Art Lecture Hall
Audience: 240

Gallery Talks
Dates: 12/20, 1/31 15:00–15:30
Free (same-day admission ticket required)

Night Museum Art Cruises
Dates: 12/18 (Sun), 1/25 19:00–20:45
Age: 18 & Over
Participants: 30 (reservations required, lottery selection)
Fee: ¥3000
Please see the official website for reservations and details.

[Image: “Mt. Ogura” (1909) Color on Silk, Pair of Six-Panel Folding Screens]


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from December 07, 2013 to February 11, 2014
Closed 12/29¬–1/3 for winter holidays. Closed on 1/9 for exhibition reorganization.



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