[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
YOSHIDA, Toshi / 吉田 遠志 [1911–1995]
“Raicho” / Japanese Rock Ptarmigan
woodblock print on paper / 9 11/16 x 14 7/8 inches (image) 12 x 16 1/2 inches (sheet)
Three generations of Yoshidas—father Hiroshi, mother Fujio, three sons, and a grandson—have produced a body of twentieth century woodcuts widely collected in the West. Between 1930 and 1950, Toshi Yoshida‘s outlook closely paralleled his father’s; the two traveled extensively throughout Asia. But for a brief period prior to this, he chose animals as subjects, largely to distinguish his work from his father Hiroshi’s landscapes. “Raicho” or Japanese rock ptarmigan is from that period. After 1950 he turned to a more Western Abstract Expressionist point of view.
This print was acquired by Martin Arsenal during his service in the Korean Conflict—probably while passing through Tokyo on his way home in 1953. Collecting has been an ongoing passion among Agincourt citizens.