Ay-O at his 2012, 81st birthday party wearing his signature hat.
"There is no doubt that one of the true aims of art is humor…" - Ay-O
Known as the “Rainbow Man” the artist Ay-O is going strong at the age of 81. Installation and performance art, painting, sculpture and prints are all part of his oeuvre. Residing for many years in New York, he was an active member of the international Fluxus anti-art movement which included avant-garde musicians, poets, composers, writers and artists. Drawn to print making in the late 1950s, it was in 1964 that he began producing his signature rainbow prints, made famous at the 1966 Venice Biennale. His subsequent work has been called “a continuing celebration of the rainbow.”
by Ay-O, 1984
This is a striking silkscreen print by Ay-o (b. 1931), the adopted name of a painter and printmaker based in Tokyo and well-known internationally.
The two outsize bodies are squeezed into the space, giving it energy and drama. By reducing virtually all detail to outline, the artist is able to focus our attention on the tensed toes and leg muscles, the wrestlers’ arms grasping and attempting to push each other over, and the fringe and giant bow of their belts. This image is based on a woodblock print by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1864), and as a tribute his signature is included in the bottom right-hand corner.
by Ay-O, 1981
Ay-O (b. 1931) has immersed the “Heart Sutra” in seven colors of squares. At the bottom of the print the mantra
掲諦掲諦波羅掲諦羅僧掲諦菩提莎婆呵 (gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!) is written.
“Form is emptiness, emptiness is form,” insists the Heart Sutra, the most popular Buddhist scripture and emptiness, or “nothingness,” was a major theme for the Daoist and Zen-influenced Fluxus artists (such as Ay-O), permeating their work.
Rainbow night 8
by Ay-O, 1971
Ay-O (b. 1931 and still going strong at the age of 81) has made a number of variously titled prints, paintings and sculptures showing anatomically correct male and female figures. In this artist’s proof, a vibration of color links the two figures.
what kind of paper/canvas was used for Sekino's "Oregon Cascade range" ?
The work you’re referring to is a woodblock print, so the media is paper. Unfortunately, I do not know what type of paper Sekino used for this print but it may be "torinoko" which he used on other prints.
This print also may be mis-titled. It may actually be titled "Kayano Kogen" (Kayano Highlands) which would make it a Japanese scene rather than one of the Oregon Cascade Range.
Adachi Ginko (active 1874 – 1897)
Jitsugetsusei kyōwa seidan (Disquisition on the political affair of the Kyōwa era)
October 8, 1878 (Meiji 11)
The actors (right to left), Ichikawa Danjūrō IX, Onoe Kikugorō V, Nakamura Nakazō III and Iwai Hanshirō VIII portraying characters in the play Jitsugetsu Seikyowa Seidan written in 1876 by Kawatake Mokuami (1816–1893). The play is based on the Kyōwa era (1801- 1804) incident known as the Enmeiin Affair, in which Nichido “an actor-turned-priest used a secret chamber at the Nichiren temple Enmeiin to seduce a number of leading ladies from the shogun’s house.”
“Nichido was first an actor but became the superior of Enmeiin, a temple of the Nichiren sect in Yanaka, and, with the aid of the priestling Ryuzen, enticed women thither, making the place a den of immorality, visited even by ladies-in-waiting at the Court. That priests should break their vows of chastity was so common that no one gave it a second thought, but when we have a man who turned priest from actor and alluring women to his temple for immoral purposes, it throws a glaring light on the moral degradation of the age.”
Nichido was later executed “as much on account of the links with the shogun’s household as of his moral shortcoming.”
For those of you who have read David Mitchell’s 2011 novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, you will recall the debauched character Abbot Enomoto and the terrible acts committed by his “engifters” on the women held captive at the “House of Sisters.” It occurs to me that the character Abbot Enomoto and the debauchery at his temple, are derived from the above historical incident.
Sumio Kawakami 川上澄生 (1895-1972) Collar, Military Decorations, Mask, Hat (eri, kunshō, kamen, bōshi)
A school teacher who made prints in his spare time, Kawakami lived for over 30 years in a small provincial city several hours north of Tokyo. His career followed a highly individual path from the start. After graduating from college, he spent a year in the United States, supporting himself with odd jobs that included house painting in Seattle and a stint in a fish cannery in Alaska. Shortly after returning to Japan he accepted the teaching position he held for most of the remainder of his life. Though he exhibited with the Japan Creative Society in the early twenties, he knew relatively few of the print artists and was never much influenced by them.
Kawakami was fascinated by the amusing encounters and bizarre misunderstanding that had occurred when the first foreigners arrived in Japan, and this interest is reflected in a great many of his prints. He was a collector of old books – particularly books in English or other foreign languages – and of antique tobacco pipes; and his interest in these also provided him with a rich source of subject matter
Adachi Ginko (active 1874 – 1897) Waki kyogen ワキ狂言 (Auspicious plays) from the series Annual Events of the Edo Theatre (O-Edo shibai nenju-gyoji 大江戸しばゐねんぢうぎやうじ)
ワキ狂言 三座とも三番叟の次ぎに脇狂言を演ず 一番太鼓に夜明けを告げワキ狂言に日出を拝すと云ふ位にて舞臺まだ闇く人の顔も碌々見へず 今其次第を云ハゞ中村座ハ大江山にて頼光の鬼退治 市村座ハ七福神の舞 守田座ハ甲子待に福の神の来ると云ふ何れも古雅なるものなり 出勤の役者ハ稲荷町の下廻り 囃子方ハ三枚目より見習迄の内之？を勤む 大体なる芝居好きも此ワキ狂言ハ悉く見る者稀なりとぞ 千秋亭? 記
Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889) copy of Lacoon struggling with the serpents appearing in Gyosai Gadan modeled after the marble sculpture Lacoon and His Two Sons in the Musei Vaticani, Rome. (The sculpture may date anywhere from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D.)