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Due to popular demand, Floating World Gallery has extended their new exhibition of woodblock prints by Jun’ichiro Sekino an additional two weeks to Jan. 28, 2011.


CHICAGO — Floating World Gallery (FWG) presents “Behind Paper Walls: Self-Printed Masterworks by Jun’ichiro Sekino” at the gallery’s Lincoln Park location, 1925 N. Halsted St. Originally scheduled to run through Jan. 14, 2011, the exhibition has been extended due to popular demand and will now close on Jan. 28, 2011.

The exhibition provides a keen insight into this master artist who pushed the limits of the art of woodblock printmaking and adds a new dimension to his legacy. Both casual and serious fans of Japanese woodblock prints will recognize the artist Jun’ichiro Sekino as a familiar name in the genre, as his studio produced hundreds of charming and popular designs that brought to life the people and scenery of Japan. Despite his extensive output, the true mastery of his artistic talent has yet to be fully appreciated. This exhibition aims to change that.
“Behind Paper Walls” includes more than 100 self-printed and original works from the late 1930s extending into the early 1950s, arguably the artist’s most important period. The exhibition showcases dozens of newly discovered masterworks acquired directly from the Sekino family, many produced in single impressions for the artist’s personal use and private contemplation. These newly discovered works command a revision of Sekino’s oeuvre and provide a rare glimpse behind the self-constructed paper walls created by the artist’s modesty as well as his success.
From an early age Jun’ichiro Sekino (1914-1988) studied printmaking and oil painting and learned the Japanese woodblock method and Western techniques of etching. He was influenced by styles of old Japanese and European masters including Sharaku, Hiroshige, Toulouse-Lautrec and Albrecht Dürer, as well as by contemporary Japanese artists, most notably Koshiro Onchi. Initially he made his living creating book illustrations, but after 1945 began to attract international attention for his other print work. In 1953 he had his first one-man show in Tokyo and, in the late 1950s museums such as The Art Institute of Chicago, MOMA, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Paris’s Bibliothèque Nationale began to collect his prints. In response to an official invitation by the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Japan Society, Sekino made his first trip to the U.S. in 1958 and returned from 1963 to 1965 to teach printmaking at Oregon State University. Beginning in 1959, Sekino began to publish the print series of the “Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido.” These prints, in conjunction with his impressive body of work featuring portraits of great artists, poets, actors, young apprentice geishas and images of his children, earned him many awards and a following of devoted collectors.
Floating World Gallery, located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, takes its name from the English translation of “ukiyo-e”, referring to images of an evanescent, impermanent world of fleeting beauty. The gallery has been one of the world’s leading dealers in Japanese art for more than 20 years, offering clients, private collectors and institutions the highest quality works of art. Floating World Gallery opened its new 8,200 square-foot gallery space in October 2009 and is now actively engaged in helping to educate the public and increase awareness of the rich world of modern Japanese art. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information call 312-587-7800, fax 312-575-3565 or email artwork@floatingworld.com.

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