Stylized Nature: A Reverie of Tone, Value, and Hue

February 9, 2018 - June 19, 2018

Shared traditions across centuries and continents show the common threads among the experiences of humankind. Many of these exchanged ideas were facilitated through trade and spread not only goods, but also artistic traditions across the globe. Beginning with Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s invasion of Tokyo Harbor in 1849 and the resulting opening of Japan to the west, the peoples Europe as well as America began a fascination with Japanese art and culture. This lead to a multi-continental dialog of artistic interpretation with various Japanese techniques beginning to influence western artistic traditions. Included in these techniques are stylized elements of flora and fauna, tonal compositions, and the art of printmaking in addition to adopting a squarer format for composition and a foreshortening of perspective.

This exhibition focuses on these exchanged ideas by drawing examples from the permanent collection of the Saginaw Art Museum. Here you will find examples ranging from Japanese wood block prints, tonalist works of American artists and translations of stylized nature into the decorative arts.