Golden Tablets

Shinoda Tōkō 篠田桃紅 Japanese

Not on view

Shinoda Tōkō, who died in 2021 at the age of 107, was best known as a painter, printmaker, and lithographer, but she was also was esteemed as a calligrapher who had studied ancient models as a youth and went on to develop her own distinctive brush-writing style. After she visited New York in the 1940s, many of her paintings and prints reveal the influence of the American Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1950s and 60s. She knew artists such as Cy Twombly and Lee Ufan personally and shared with them Asian-inspired ideas on the use of “blank space” (yohaku) and deconstructionist approaches to the process of inscription. Although Shinoda’s graphic works often incorporate abstracted calligraphic motifs, this example contains a legible poetic message, albeit inscribed using her personal interpretation of an archaic script form.

Translations of the four ancient Japanese court poems, each treating one of the four seasons, are found in the Catalogue Entry below.

Golden Tablets, Shinoda Tōkō 篠田桃紅 (Japanese, 1913–2021), Ink and gofun (ground-shell pigment) on gilded paper, Japan

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