We will likely be at the gallery on several afternoons this week.
Call (603-795-4855), or use email contact link at bottom of this page.
Monique Pelletier has brought back her yoga fitness class that used to meet in the fellowship hall of the Lyme Congregational Church! We meet at the MBFA gallery Tuesdays, 11:30 - 12:30. Drop in is $20, buy a card for 6 classes for $100.
Find our most active presentations on artsy.net (think "etsy" for art galleries). This is a world-wide online marketplace for art. Used by galleries handling many of the world's finest art treasures both contemporary and from the past, it offers an expandable viewer that we think is about the best way available to see art online.
We pursue one exception to our rule of residency. This is an offering of kabuki actor prints by the Japanese print designer Utagawa Kunisada (1789 - 1865). Our focus is print designs Kunisada made in the 1850's, just before and after the opening of Japan to the West (1853).
Why Kunisada? This gallery is owned and operated by myself, Matt Brown, and I make color woodblock prints using the Japanese hanga method. This is the same multiple block technique used to make the ukiyo-e prints of the 19th century, including these designs by Kunisada. Inspired in this work by an exhibit of Hiroshige prints at Dartmouth College's Hood Museum in 1993, Kunisada has surpassed Hiroshige as my mentor and inspiration in my art-making pursuit.
During his lifetime Kunisada (aka Toyokuni III) earned popularity and success exceeding that of the now more well known print designers Hokusai, Utamaro, Hiroshige, and Kuniyoshi. Recent scholarship is re-evaluating his work, but market interest has not caught up. Kunisada's output was outstanding, the diversity of his originality in the use of shape, color, and pattern exceedingly impressive. Several Japanese print dealer friends and the internet have made it possible for me to find extraordinary examples of his art at astoundingly affordable prices. As a maker of hanga woodblock prints myself I feel confident to offer a vetted selection of some of his better print designs at affordable prices. I am pleased to share, show, and sell these prints, my idea is that they offer us a lot to learn and enjoy.
A combination of an advanced formal structure, bold colors, and widespread distribution and availability led Western writers and art critics to label Kunisada's work “decadent”. During the period of Japonisme, when both in Europe and America folks were nuts about things Japanese, his work was called “undistinguished”. As recently as 1960 Jack Hillier, a major scholar of ukiyo-e art, described Kunisada's print designs as “repellent to us, mainly because of spectacular or sensational subjects with color to match” (Hillier, The Japanese Print, A New Approach, Tuttle Press, 1960).
The result? Great prices. An important part of my gallery effort is offering these prints framed beautifully with 99% UV protecting museum glass, art that is an investment to be enjoyed and learned from every day.
GALLERY DIRECTOR - Matt Brown
We hope to soon be able to send out e-mail notices of upcoming exhibitions, articles about our artists, and special events.
ARTISTS from AWAY.
Leasing display space for special exhibits of work by folks who don't meet our local rule is something we have discussed. Interested? Contact Matt (CONTACT button above).