The Gion Visitors

Betty Woodman American

Not on view

Woodman, a master ceramicist and installation artist, brought to her distinctive practice in two and three dimensions an interest in robust, saturated color and a particular attention to the ways in which western conventional persective could be subverted by not only the experiments of Cubism of the early 20th century, but also the differing viewpoints offered by art from other cultures such as Japan and India. By the time she made The Gion Visitors, Woodman had traveled at least twice before to Japan, and, when not there, she was a close examiner of Japanese screens, scroll paintings, and decorative arts of many centuries. In this drawing, she approximates the axonometric projections of certain styles of Japanese painting in a view of Gion, the famed entertainment quarter that surrounds the entrance to the centuries old Yasaka shrine in Kyoto. Using unorthodox drawing materials such as clay slip, which also would have been of daily use in her ceramics practice, Woodman offers a compelling, decorative take on a traditional Eastern landscape.

The Gion Visitors, Betty Woodman (American, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1930–2018 New York), Clay, ink, wax, watercolor, and dye on handmade Japanese paper

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