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Yozo Hamaguchi


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"Watermelon" (1981), color mezzotint, 9 3/8" x 21 1/2", full margins.  Signed, lower right, numbered, lower left.  Dedication in pencil, center lower margin. On Rives BFK paper with watermark.  In very good condition with fresh colors, dark impression [MCR 157].

Yozo Hamaguchi (1909-2000) was taught painting and sculpture by Ginzo Kataoka, Mango Kobayashi and Taimu Tatehata.  He entered the School of Fine Arts in Tokyo in 1927, at the age of 18.  In 1930, Hamaguchi left the School of Fine arts and went to Paris to study painting and printmaking. Although trained in painting and sculpture, Hamaguchi began making prints in the 1930s while studying painting in Paris. Only one print work exists from the 1930s. It was only after World War II and while back in Japan that he began work on copper plate printing in earnest.   He began exhibiting print works in 1951 in Tokyo and returned to Paris in 1953, there meeting the print dealer Heinz Berggruen. Hamaguchi became seriously involved in print making in Paris and remained so the rest of his life, becoming arguably the greatest mezzotint artist of the 20th century.

Hamaguchi was classically trained in both painting and sculpture and brought those skills along with his own cultural time and space perspective to printmaking.  He developed and applied a unique technique to the classic art of mezzotint, merging painting and sculpture which resulted in prints with objects that have no relationship to reality in terms of time and space. He invoked a painterly approach  in his unique use of the mezzotint rocker where objects appear translucent, creating an illusion of  time and space. There are deep mysteries in Hamaguchi's mezzotints and  magical moods which belie the viewer's ability to determine where an object exists.  Hamaguchi's prints exude a strangeness where light emanates from beyond the paper.

This Hamaguchi is in a 27" x 38 5/8" burnished ebony inner panel with inner and outer gilded silver lip frame.  The outer black fine textured linen, middle coal beveled accent and inner black fine textured linen mats are acid and lignin free and protected with Acrylite-AR OP3 (UV) by CYRO ........ SOLD

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