Past Exhibitions

Ink Painters from the Kantō Region, Part II: The Idiosyncratic Talent of Sesson
July 10, 2018 - August 5, 2018

This is the second part of a small exhibition on medieval ink painters of the Kantō region, in Eastern Japan. While Part I featured Shōkei and the Odawara Kano school, Part II focuses on the monk-painter Sesson (born 1504?). Sesson was born into the Sadake clan, rulers of Hitachi province (Ibaraki prefecture), and became a Zen monk, taking the Buddhist name of Shūkei. Over his lifetime, he resided in various parts of Eastern Japan, including Aizu, Kamakura, and Odawara, before finally retiring to Miharu, in present day Fukushima. In addition to being strongly influenced by the medieval ink painter Sesshū (1420–1506?), Sesson was also an avid student of Chinese imagery, and is known for developing the most individualistic painting style of any artist of his day. The works on view here exemplify the highly distorted forms and distinctive compositions that characterize the art of this unique master.

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