Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761-1828)

September 29, 2012
past event image
Gallery past event

Japan Society Gallery presents the first American retrospective of Sakai Hōitsu, master of the bravura gesture, a samurai aristocrat turned Buddhist monk who dedicated his life to art and poetry. Triumphs of compositional daring and sumptuousness, Hōitsu’s paintings and those of his chief pupil Suzuki Kiitsu (1796–1858) made a defining Japanese contribution to world art.

The exhibition includes 58 screens, scrolls, painted fans, lacquer wares, and woodblock-printed books from public and private collections throughout the United States, including five loans from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Foremost among the paintings are Hōitsu’s Waves, a magnificent pair of twelve-foot-wide six-panel screens sheathed in silver leaf and boldly brushed in black ink. They will be exhibited alongside Rough Waves by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716), an earlier artist who inspired Hōitsu to revive the Rimpa (“school of Kōrin”) style and to paint the Waves screens. Taking the place of Waves on November 13 is Maples and Cherry Trees, another stunning pair of screens opulently lined with gold leaf and painted in precious mineral pigments.

Silver Wind offers an unmissable opportunity to experience in its totality the art of a great painter who has long been prized in this country for his direct visual appeal, loving depiction of favorite Japanese subjects, and sensitivity to subtle changes in weather and the seasons.

Admission: $15; students & seniors $12; Japan Society members and children under 16 free. Admission is free to all on Friday nights, 6-9 pm.
Gallery Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 11 am-6 pm; Fri. 11 am-9 pm; Sat. & Sun. 11 am-5 pm; closed Mon. & major holidays. Docent-led walk-in tours are conducted Tues.-Sun. at 12:30 pm. Japanese language tours are conducted Friday nights at 6 pm. Tours are free with admission and are approximately one hour in duration. To arrange group tours, call (212) 715-1224.

Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hoitsu (1761–1828) is curated by Matthew McKelway, Takeo and Itsuko Atsumi Associate Professor of Japanese Art at Columbia University.

The exhibition is generously supported by the E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Chris A. Wachenheim, the Henry Luce Founda­tion, New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation, Peggy and Dick Danziger, the Japanese Art Dealers Association, Joan B. Mirviss, Mary J. Wallach, The Japan Foundation, Walter and Marguerite Bopp, Bettina Burr, Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Sebastian and Mieko Izzard, Kokon, Inc., David Solo, Dian Woodner, Terry Brykczynski and Andrea L. Miller, T. Richard Fishbein and Estelle P. Bender, Mika Gallery, Erik and Cornelia Thomsen, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Catanzaro, and George and Roberta Mann.


Japan Society also wishes to thank Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas) for its generous support.

Media sponsorship is provided by WNYC.

Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines.

Exhibitions at Japan Society are made possible in part by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Friends of the Gallery.

  • September 29, 2012 – January 6, 2013