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  • Selected Essays by Saburo Hasegawa

    Mark Dean Johnson, Dakin Hart

    Chapter from the book: Johnson M. & Hart D. 2019. The Saburo Hasegawa Reader.


    This chapter features translations of Hasegawa’s writings before and after his first encounters with European and American avant-garde art in the 1930s and his reemergence as an artist and critic in the postwar period. In his 1934 essay about Sesshu, Hasegawa tried to express correlations in the qualities and feelings evoked by art, and Hasegawa advocated for Japanese artists to thoughtfully participate in, rather than dutifully emulate, advances in international abstract art. After the war, his essays blend avant-garde and classical references. These themes appear throughout a series of writings on his encounter with the American artist Isamu Noguchi, with whom he tours temples and gardens in Kyoto and Nara in 1950 and in later visits. Subsequent writings on avant-garde art in America find Hasegawa identifying a sense of cultural rootlessness that allows its artists to openly adopt both recent advances in European abstraction and—of special interest to him—from Japanese aesthetic sources, without being beholden to tradition.

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    Johnson M. & Hart D. 2019. Selected Essays by Saburo Hasegawa. In: Johnson M. & Hart D (eds.), The Saburo Hasegawa Reader. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.70.f

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    Published on May 1, 2019