Gift of George P. Bickford 1957.426
Regarded as a master of mezzotint, Hamaguchi is credited with its revival as a 20th-century medium of original expression. His interest in mezzotint grew out of his study of painting and printmaking during his early years in Paris in the 1930s. Dating back to 17th-century Europe, mezzotint had been used primarily as as a means of reproducing paintings in black and white. Hamaguchi approached the medium with new insight, exploiting the possibilities of finely graduated tones and infusing his images with vibrant colors emerging from velvety black grounds. Though his technique is European, his aesthetic approach derives from the Japanese emphasis on the importance of placement, pattern, and selectivity, and the reverence for such subtleties, often discounted as merely "decorative" in Western art.
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