Kiyoshi Saito 斎藤清: Haniwa (6)

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Artist: Kiyoshi Saito 斎藤清 (1907-1997)
Title: Haniwa (6)
Date: ca. 1952

Haniwa are funerary ceramics from the Kofun era (300-552 CE);  “haniwa” means clay cylinder, which refers to their tubular construction. Many haniwa forms are clearly human figures; this one seems to offer us a very sunny disposition indeed. Saito had access to a large collection of haniwa while working for the Tokyo National Museum; he exhibited his first of about 30 haniwa designs in 1951. As Rhiannon Paget writes, “The abstract human and animal forms of haniwa allowed Saito to move beyond naturalism while still creating representational works. Haniwa also inspired the artists Henry Moore and Isamu Noguchi. Titled “Haniwa (6)” in pencil by the artist, lower margin.

Condition: Very good impression, color and condition.  Very soft crease near top margin.
Dimensions: 38 x 24 cm
Publisher: Self-published
Seal: artist’s seal “Kiyoshi” in red
Signature: Kiyoshi Saito (in white pigment)

Literature: For an excellent overview of haniwa as subject, see Saitô Kiyoshi: Graphic Awakening by Rhiannon Paget, page 108.