Iwami Reika (b. 1927)
Sea—Evening Calm, 1964
Color woodblock print
29 1/4 x 22 1/4 inches (74.3 x 56.5 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Albert J. Caplan, 1964
Iwami’s woodblock prints are characterized by the artist’s use of thick, velvety inks, embossed surfaces, and the natural grain of un-hewn blocks of driftwood. Her bold yet simple compositions create a quiet intensity that demands the viewer’s attention. In Sea—Evening Calm Iwami juxtaposes motion and stillness, specificity and abstraction; the image evokes a sense of primordial nature in the visual language of landscape to captivate the viewer’s eye. Although this work does not depict a specific place, the image nevertheless reminds one of the wide-open spaces of the natural world, like the expanse of the open sea.
Anna Moblard Meier