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Katsunori Hamanishi and the art of the mezzotint: a patient technique.

 New and earlier work by a master of the mezzotint process

© 2003 Katsunori Hamanishi

When: September 9 – October 2, 2004

Hours: by appointment only
11:00 AM to 5PM
Thursday - Saturday
Call to set up a time:

Where: The Williams Gallery
6 Olden Lane
Princeton, NJ

Stage Contest
 © 2004 Katsunori Hamanishi

About the Exhibit:
The subjects of Hamanishi’s embody traditional Japanese symbols and images combined with a contemporary interpretation. His technique as seen in some of his newest work, e.g. "Stage Contest" juxtaposes the beauty of the ‘peach blossom’ with that of the ‘full moon’. The brilliance of gold leaf, the subtle quality of mica dust and the refined texture of the mezzotint lend a magical quality to his prints.

Few contemporary artist have the time and patience to rock a plate with a mezzotint rocker long enough to produce the velvety black impression so characteristic of the best work. Hamanishi explains: "It is patience that is necessary to produce the jet-black texture peculiar to mezzotint; the foundation of infinite tones from black to white. This is similar to the grounding of an oil painting before the image is applied. To prepare the copper plates may take 10 – 13 hours using a process called ‘burring’. A comb-like tool is rocked methodically, vertically, horizontally and diagonally over the plate until it is completely covered with impressions made by its teeth. It is after the plate is burred that the drawing of the image into the prepared surface begins".

About the Artist:
Like the surrealistic paintings of Dali and Magritte, Katsunori Hamanishi's mezzotints combine nature and abstraction. Born in Hokkaido, he studied painting and graduated from Tokai University with a degree in Art in 1973 and next studied at the University of Pennsylvania on a grant from the Cultural Affairs Agency, 1987-88. Hamanishi has won numerous prizes for his work, including the Ibiza International Print Biennial, the Grenchen International Triennial in Switzerland and the Valparaiso International Exhibition in Chile. He now lives in the Tokyo area and his primary focus is printmaking. His works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum and the MOMA in New York; the Art Institute, Chicago; the Library of Congress, DC; Taipei Fine Arts National Museum; Krakow National Museum; Osaka National Museum of Art; and others. In September 2004 he will be honored in a two-man show along with venerated mezzotint artist Yozo Hamani at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, where Hamanishi will present a demonstration of his own technique.

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