DOCUMENTA KASSEL 16/06-23/09 2007

Hokusai Katsushika

Model draft from: Banshoku zuká» (collections of drafts for the ornamentation of artisan craftwerk)

Outside Japan, Katsushika Hokusai is best known for his colour woodcuts of landscape scenes, in particular for the series 36 Views of Mount Fuji. He was equally important as a book illustrator. He created numerous illustrations for traditional Chinese and Japanese tales. Combat scenes and ghost stories gave him an opportunity to demonstrate the dynamics of his style. Another important group of works consists of designs he created for other artists and artisans. The exhibited sheet is part of one of these design collections. Always taking traditional patterns as his starting point, he stylised decorations to such a degree of abstraction that they can no longer be intended for use. This striped design must be looked at as an independent work of art, which is no longer concerned with rapport and regularity.