The Saburo Hasegawa Reader

The Saburo Hasegawa Reader

Paperback(First Edition)

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At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit to learn more.

The Hasegawa Reader is an open access companion to the bilingual catalogue copublished with The Noguchi Museum to accompany an international touring exhibition, Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan. The exhibition features the work of two artists who were friends and contemporaries: Isamu Noguchi and Saburo Hasegawa. This volume is intended to give scholars and general readers access to a wealth of archival material and writings by and about Saburo Hasegawa. While Noguchi’s reputation as a preeminent American sculptor of the twentieth century only grows stronger, Saburo Hasegawa is less well known, despite being considered the most literate artist in Japan during his lifetime (1906–1957). Hasegawa is credited with introducing abstraction in Japan in the mid 1930s, and he worked as an artist in diverse media including oil and ink painting, photography, and printmaking. He was also a theorist and widely published essayist, curator, teacher, and multilingual conversationalist.
This valuable trove of Hasegawa material includes the entire manuscript for a 1957 Hasegawa memorial volume, with its beautiful essays by philosopher Alan Watts, Oakland Museum Director Paul Mills, and Japan Times art writer Elise Grilli, as well as various unpublished writings by Hasegawa. The ebook edition will also include a dozen essays by Hasegawa from the postwar period, and one prewar essay, professionally translated for this publication to give a sense of Hasegawa’s voice. This resource will be an invaluable tool for scholars and students interested in midcentury East Asian and American art and tracing the emergence of contemporary issues of hybridity, transnationalism, and notions of a “global Asia."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520298996
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 175
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Mark Dean Johnson is Professor of Art at San Francisco State University.

Dakin Hart is Senior Curator of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Brett Littman
Dakin Hart and Mark Dean Johnson
Note on Translation
Saburo Hasegawa: A Brief Biography
Dakin Hart and Mark Dean Johnson

I. Artist of the Controlled Accident
1. The Controlled Accident
Saburo Hasegawa
2. The Paintings of Saburo Hasegawa
Paul Mills
3. Saburo Hasegawa: Master of the Controlled Accident
Alan W. Watts
4. Saburo Hasegawa as a Leader in Modern Art in Japan
Elise Grilli
5. Selected Writings by Saburo Hasegawa
Article from the New York Times
Haniwa (unpublished poem)
Notes on Painting (unpublished essay)
My House (reprinted essay)

II. Remembrances of Former Students
6. Remembrances of Former California College of Arts and
Crafts Students
Billy Al Bengston and Mel Strawn

III. Selected Letters to Isamu Noguchi
7. Selected Letters from Hasegawa to Isamu Noguchi, 1950–1951

IV. Selected Essays by Saburo Hasegawa
8. On Sesshu, 1934 (translated by Gaku Kondo)
9. Sesshu, 1948 (translated by Haruko Kohno)
10. The New Art, 1948 (translated by Gaku Kondo)
11. Conversations with Isamu Noguchi June 8 and 9, 1950
(translated by Yoriko Yamamoto and Mark Dean Johnson)
12. Days with Isamu Noguchi, 1950 (translated by Reiko Tomii)
13. Rambling Words on Song-Yuan Flower-and-Bird Painting, 1950
(translated by Gaku Kondo)
14. Mondrian: An Essay on the New Occident and the
Old Orient, 1951 (translated by Gaku Kondo)
15. Arp: An Essay on the New Occident and the Old Orient, 1951
(translated by Gaku Kondo)
16. Letters from France and America: An Essay on the New
Occident and the Old Orient, 1951 (translated by Gaku Kondo)
17. Making the Katsura Imperial Villa Abstract, 1951 (translated by
Gaku Kondo)
18. Calligraphy and New Painting, 1952 (translated by Haruko Kohno)
19. New Photography and Painting, 1953 (translated by Haruko Kohno)
20. The Fate of American Artists, 1955 (translated by Gaku Kondo)
21. Present-Day American Abstract Art, 1955
(translated by Haruko Kohno)
22. Nationalism and Universalism in Japanese Art, 1955
(translated by Haruko Kohno)


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