Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art
"Rinpa" is a modern term that refers to a distinctive style of Japanese pictorial and applied arts that arose in the early seventeenth century and has continued through modern times. Literally meaning "school of Korin," Rinpa derives its name from Ogata Korin (1658–1716), a celebrated painter from Kyoto. It embraces art marked by a bold, graphic abbreviation of natural motifs, frequent reference to traditional court literature and poetry, the lavish use of expensive mineral and metallic pigments, incorporation of calligraphy into painting compositions, and innovative experimentation with new brush techniques.
The exhibition features more than one hundred brilliantly executed works of art created in Japan by the Rinpa-school artists. The works on view are part of the first rotation; the second rotation will open on September 12, 2012. Highlighting the school's most prominent proponents, this two-part presentation traces the development of the Rinpa aesthetic and demonstrates how its style continued to influence artists throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Comprising more than fifty works from the Museum's own holdings supplemented by forty-five loans from public and private collections on the east coast, the exhibition includes many masters' renowned works in a variety of media—painting, textiles, lacquerware, and ceramics.