Tokyo-born Ikezumi Kiyoshi received some formal training as an artist, and after World War II became a freelance woodblock printer. Rather than depicting the post-war present or recalling traditional Japanese print motifs, his unusual themes and styles suggest nostalgia for the turn of the century, when Japan first embraced western aesthetics and technologies. Many of his prints show Japanese cityscapes with western style buildings and vehicles. In recognition of this golden age of transportation and innovation, Ikezumi’s signature style combines simple lines and shapes with bold colors to give his work a noticeably modern touch. Balloon takes advantage of the woodblock medium by employing a simple color blocking technique rather than the more complex shading or gradient technique favored by other woodblock artists. The balloon is disproportionate to the figures riding it, giving the print a whimsical quality.
Palmer Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, Transfer from The Pennsylvania State University Libraries Print Collection
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