Monday 25 August 2008

Straigth Green Lines

As I was going through pictures of arrangemnets for my last work book, I found this arrangement emphasizing straigth lines and surfaces of leaves. I had forgotten about it and was kind of happy to be reminded. Green lines of Yucca palm leaves and pinkish tulips.

A fresh look for a hot day.

Sunday 10 August 2008

When Warhol met Sofu

The Internet sure opens up a lot of new opportunities. I got a respons from a member of the Sogetsu Pittsburgh Study Group regarding my blog post on Sofu Teshigahara and Andy Warhol. This is what she is writing:

"I have read an article about when Warhol met Sofu, his wife, and daughter Kasumi at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo in 1974, to take Polaroid pictures of Sofu and Kasumi to make their portraits. It was Warhol that requested this meeting and he was disappointed that Hiroshi could not attend because of the conflict he had.

He enjoyed the meeting and even asked if he could see their exhibition before he left for US next morning. He was lead by Kasumi and saw the exhibit before it's opening early morning while people were still putting final touches to their arrangements, and he enjoyed thoroughly.

During the meeting Sofu asked Warhol what kind of things he enjoyed in Japan and his reply was the mums displayed at many temples he visited, it must have been in autumn. He particularly liked the cascading ones and the white ones were his favorites.

That impression might be the inspiration of those mum collections you mentioned in your blog. That meeting also lead us to connect with Warhol museum decades later and gave us a wonderful opportunity to exhibit there a couple of times a year, often collaborate with their special exhibit/events."

Isn't that exciting - Thanks Atsumi! I'm posting a picture from Warhol's Kiku suite (1982-83) to celebrate.

Sunday 3 August 2008

2 (or 3) x Warhol

Sofu Teshigahara, founder of the Sogetsu School, and pop artist Andy Warhol met in Japan in the 1970's. It was probably when Warhol visited Japan in 1974. A Warhol painting retrospective took place at the Daimaru Department Store in Tokyo. The same year Warhol created a silkscreen suite called Flowers (Hand-Colored), based on Japanese Ikebana. The 10 prints in the suite are rarely seen. Earlier this year a print of a sunflower that I think belong to this suite was sold at an auction house in Sweden. It looks very Sogetsu to me.

Two years later, in 1976, Warhol made a portrait of Sofu. A gallery owner in New York once told me that Warhol made quite a few portraits of friends and clients. Some were painted in the vibrant style of his well known screenprints of famous people. I guess the Sofu portrait must be in this category as I don't think it is printed. I'm not sure though. Please respond if you know more about this. I just love this portrait!

In the 1980's Warhol returned to Japanese flowers for inspiration. A body of work called Kiku, the Japanese word for chrysanthemum, was formally released at an exhibition held at The Gendai Hanga Center in Tokyo 1982-83.

The mutual admiration between Sofu and Warhol also resulted in an opportunity for the Sogetsu Pittsburgh Study Group to exhibit ikebana arrangements in the Warhol museum in Pittsburgh each year. O boy, would I like to be part of that study group! I guess it's for locals only. I'm adding their link so that you can visit their exhibitions.
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