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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         AZECHI Umetaro                                                            

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AZECHI Umetaro
AZECHI Umetaro

Born: 1902 in Ehime prefecture on Shikoku Island, died in 1999
Medium: Woodblock

Azechi first exhibited his works in 1930, and since then has become known and collected worldwide. Most of his artwork reflects a sincere love of the mountains, and his personal belief in simple lifestyles. His subjects are most often drawn from the sights and Ainu folk customs of his native mountains--snowmen, mountaineers and birds. There is a haunting quality to the staring eyes of his figures that always enchants the viewer. He also shows the affinity of man with birds, by using identical black bands to indicate beards and feathers.

The artist moved to Tokyo from his home island of Shikoku in 1921, and was accepted into the Japan Creative Print Association. He studied printmaking with Unichi Hiratsuka. Azechi has written numerous books and articles on alpine climbing, and the serenity he derives from the solitude of mountainous environments. Although the style is often termed primitive, its simiplicity is a reflection of his own personal philosophy and love for nature, and the confidence of an established master printmaker.

Exhibitions:
CWAJ Print Show, Tokyo
Matsuyama
Sao Paulo Biennial, Brazil
Osaka, Japan
Santa Maria, California
Lugano, Switzerland
Japan Print Association, Tokyo

Collections:
Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco
Machida City Museum of Graphic Art, Tokyo
Art Institute of Chicago
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
The British Museum, London
Cincinnati Art Museum

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