Iconic: Images of the Floating World at Ronin Gallery’s Grand Opening Weekend
Saturday, October 12 through Saturday, November 9
Grand Opening Weekend: Saturday, October 12 through Sunday, October 13 from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Ronin Gallery – 32 W. 40th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
In commemoration of the grand opening of their new gallery at Bryant Park Place, Ronin Gallery presents a carefully curated collection of Japanese woodblock prints in Iconic: Images of the Floating World. From Hokusai’s Great Wave to Kuniyoshi’s Skeleton Specter, this exhibition presents an unprecedented opportunity to experience some of the most influential designs of ukiyo-e together in a single exhibition.
The term iconic speaks to an immortality, an undimming radiance that crosses cultures and centuries. In the history of art, certain works are universally recognizable, from museum walls to emojis, these iconic designs blur the line between life and art.
Ukiyo-e translates to “pictures of the floating world.” This ephemeral realm refers to the pleasure-focused culture centered in Edo, Japan (modern day Tokyo), during the 18th and 19th centuries. Ukiyo-e captured the city’s exciting urban culture and promoted its beauty, humor, fashions, and heroes as one of the world’s first forms of popular art. Artists such as Utamaro portrayed the enchanting beauties of the Yoshiwara, the city’s legal brothel district. The theatricality of Kabuki theater came to life in Sharaku’s portraits, while Kuniyoshi and Yoshitoshi channeled popular imagination through the bizarre, legendary, and supernatural. As travel restrictions loosened, Hiroshige and Hokusai captured the excitement of life on the road and the natural beauty of Japan.
Ronin Gallery’s collection spans from 17th century Buddhist woodcuts through Japan’s most promising contemporary talents. Sparked by a passion for the ever-contemporary spirit of ukiyo-e, Ronin Gallery, now under second-generation leadership, has grown into one of the world’s leading Japanese art galleries. As the gallery opens its first exhibition at Bryant Park Place, it is only appropriate to celebrate with the most revered and recognizable designs from the floating world. Iconic: Images of the Floating World is an associated program of Japan 2019.
About Ronin Gallery
Ronin Gallery is one of the world’s leading dealers in Japanese woodblock prints and home to one of the largest collections of 17th through 21st century Japanese prints in the United States. Founded in 1975 in the Explorers Club Mansion of New York City, the gallery is now located in the taproom of the historic Engineer’s Club at Bryant Park Place. For more information about the gallery and to access the gallery’s online exhibits, please visit Ronin Gallery’s website.