The Water Lily Season (Suiren no koro), 1959
Color woodblock print
18 x 22 13/16 inches (45.7 x 57.9 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of
Albert J. Caplan, 1959
Kawanishi’s use of saturated, unmodulated colors and a lack of black contour lines are features of his distinctive style. In this unusual representation of a scene of water lilies, Kawanishi juxtaposes the hues and forms of the the black water, yellow leaves, white tree trunks, and blue grass, thus reversing our expectation of the natural colors of these elements. Deliberately abstract, the combination of these colored blocks produces a sense of darkness, tension, and mystery.