Night & Day Archives » Night & Day

The Block Is Hot

by

comment
Woodblock printing and "spontaneous creation" are not terms that often go together. The laborious nature of creating and preparing a woodblock for printing would seem to preclude any sort of spontaneity, except perhaps for the occasional unfortunate accident while cutting the block. But Shiko Munakata prized the immediate as a vital part of his artistic process, and he crafted his woodblocks quickly and with vigorous enthusiasm. Munakata's spirit and energy are readily visible in his finished prints: In Praise of Flower Hunting, a four-foot-by-five-foot print (made in fourteen sections) of mounted hunters racing through a field of flowers, crackles with a vitality that belies the static nature of the work. The three hunters stretch from their stylized horses with a palpable sense of delight, their accompanying trio of contorted hunting dogs trapped in mid-spring. In Praise of Flower Hunting is breathtaking in its kinetic impact, a swift riot of movement coalescing in a single, vivid scene. The Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org) opened Shiko Munakata, a special exhibition of Munakata's prints and drawings, on Friday, July 14, in Gallery 321. Admission is free, and the exhibit remains on display through Sunday, October 22.
July 14-Oct. 22

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.