Imagination on the Winter Mountain, 1962
Gift of Ted and Marcia Marks in memory of Emily Howe Marks
Azechi’s print is an unconventional expression of the artist’s love for the mountains, one of his favorite subjects. Almost abstract, it reflects the non-representational qualities of sōsaku-hanga and is characteristic of a shift in Azechi’s work that began in the 1950s, as he responded to the influence of his contemporaries in Japan and abroad. His compositions typically reduce a subject to contours and dominant colors; in Imagination, some of the boundaries of form and line are dissolved as well, leaving color as the primary vehicle of meaning. A narrow palette evokes the essential elements of the mountains from which Azechi draws inspiration: the blues and whites of ice and snow, the deep charcoal shades of weathered stone, and the soft greys of cloud cover.