San Francisco

“Japanese Actor Prints”

R. E. Lewis­ Gallery

Prints from the 18th and 19th centuries, including some rather rare Osaka prints, left on exhibition for September. As theater-genre, they pre­sent a commentary on the economic as well as the esthetic state of Japan at a time when her artists were catering to the demands of a rising middle class interested especially in topical events. A purely Japanese type of art, reflecting the life and spirit of the times, they break with the conventional schools imbued with Chinese tradition. Some in this show were done by ukiyo-e “prim­itives” such as Nishimura Shigenaga (?-1756), whose flowing, interlacing lines can boast a charming style all their own.

E. M. Polley