Miwako Nishizawa: Twelve Views of Virginia

Contemporary Japanese Printmaker Commissioned to Illustrate Virginia Landmarks

A California-based Japanese artist, Miwako Nishizawa, specializes in the traditional shin-hanga Japanese woodblock technique that revitalized the ukiyo-e tradition in early 20th century Japan. As part of their interest in the work of Japanese shin-hanga artist Kawase Hasui, collectors René and Carolyn Balcer commissioned Nishizawa to execute Twelve Views of Virginia in the shin-hanga style, which will be on view November 15, 2014 to March 29, 2015.

“Thanks to the Balcers, VMFA now has the finest collection of the work of Kawase Hasui of any museum in the United States,” Director Alex Nyerges said. “These twelve prints use the beauty of Virginia’s historic landmarks to demonstrate his techniques and the skills that lie behind production of these prints, and provide another dimension to enhance appreciation of this important collection.”

Virginia landmarks in Twelve Views of Virginia highlight beautiful, divese places throughout the the Commonwealth, including: Blue Ridge mountains, Cape Henry, Colonial Williamsburg, Floyd Country Store, Hollywood Cemetery, Jamestown, Manassas Battlefield, Monticello, Natural Bridge, Skyline Drive, William and Mary, and University of Virginia.

The exhibition uses artist proofs, drawings and materials to demonstrate the technique. The contemporary woodblock prints will display culturally or historically significant locations in Virginia and will be exhibited in conjunction with a major exhibition of works by Hasui in the Evans Court Gallery. Prints from the Nishizawa series will be available for purchase in the VMFA Shop unframed for $500 each.

Related Programs
Gallery Talk: Twelve Views of Virginia with Miwako Nishizawa
November 14, 2014
3 p.m., Works on Paper Gallery
Free, no reservations required

Join Japanese artist Miwako Nishizawa as she discusses her Twelve Views of Virginia print project on display in the VMFA galleries. This multi-year project was commissioned by collectors Rene and Carolyn Balcer and includes images of many notable sites around the State of Virginia including Monticello in Charlottesville, Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Natural Bridge, and Colonial Williamsburg.

Miwako Nishizawa Master Class, Introduction to the Japanese Woodcut
2 sessions, November 15 & 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
$165 (VMFA member $145)
Prerequisite: drawing & printmaking experience

Join visiting artist Miwako Nishizawa who is exhibiting her woodcut prints in the VMFA galleries. Focusing on the fundamentals of Japanese woodcuts, the instructor presents examples of woodcut prints, demonstrates cutting and printing blocks with a baren, and with her guidance, allows students to design, transfer, cut, and print a small edition of prints.

About Kawase Hasui
Water and Shadow: Kawase Hasui and Japanese Landscape Prints will present a selection of Japanese woodblock prints, paintings and didactic material that explores the dynamic early work of acclaimed Japanese landscape artist Kawase Hasui. This exhibition will focus on Hasui’s most imaginative period of woodblock print design, spanning from the year 1918 to the Great Earthquake of 1923. Approximately 80 of the prints in the exhibition are part of the 500 prints that are now part of VMFA’s permanent collection, donated by preeminent Hasui collectors René and Carolyn Balcer. The exhibition will also feature three hand painted 2-panel screens from private collections never before exhibited, which together with the prints showcase the cultural hybridity of Hasui’s work. Named Japan’s premier “poet of place,” Hasui’s art manifests influences of the early shin-hanga (New Prints) movement, as well as stylistic nods to artistic traditions ranging from ukiyo-e and French Japonisme to Post-Impressionist painting.


About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. As of October 1, 2013 VMFA was certified as a Virginia Green attraction for its efforts in providing recycling, minimizing the use of disposables, energy efficiency, and water conservation. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.