view single item

Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

IMPORTANT: Images displayed via this interface may NOT be reproduced without the express permission of the artist or the artist's representative. Please contact the Johnson Museum with any questions regarding image rights and reproduction.

Title: Autumn Insects
Date: 1962
Medium: Color woodblock print
Edition 89/150
Dimensions: Image: 13 13/16 x 6 5/16 inches (35.1 x 16 cm); Sheet: 18 1/2 × 12 1/2 inches (47 × 31.8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of David Klasfeld and Hila Richardson
Object Number: 82.117.039
Label Text: In this work, Ansei Uchima presents his own interpretation of a traditional Japanese seasonal image of autumn grasses against the moon. Just as insects are not visible at night, they are not visually represented here, but the title suggests that the viewer is meant to imagine their nocturnal sounds.

Born in California, Uchima went to Japan to study at Waseda University, but because he was there at the outbreak of World War II he was unable to return to the US. In Japan he studied painting and in 1957 began to experiment with printmaking. He became involved in the sosaku hanga (creative print) movement that encouraged artists to carve, ink, and print their own blocks, which was a radical departure from traditional ukiyo-e printmaking in which the artist designed pictures for a printing house to produce. Sosaku hanga artists also incorporated a Western modernist aesthetic in their works. Uchima’s earliest prints focused on the natural world. Later, after returning to the US, his work evolved to become nonrepresentational, in response to abstract expressionism.

He taught printmaking at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. (“Moon," curated by Ellen Avril and presented at the Johnson Museum August 25, 2018-January 13, 2019)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.