Living Proof features nearly 100 works by artists including Hokusai, Kuniyoshi, and Yoshitoshi. Best known as print designers, their compositions were mediated in the final woodblock print through the contributions of separate carvers and printers. This exhibition thus offers a rare opportunity to witness the artist’s hand directly. Frequent alterations and reworkings of an initial sketch also reveal the various stages in their creative process. In many cases, drawings were also intended as a didactic tool to instruct or encourage drafting practices among students. By highlighting the often-unseen improvisations, alterations, and even imperfections that have been excluded from a celebrated history of printmaking in Japan, Living Proof reframes these drawings as artworks in their own right.
Opening Reception for Living Proof