The Mezzotints of Hamanishi Katsunori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Over a long and distinguished career, Hamanishi Katsunori has focused on the production of mezzotint prints, perhaps the most demanding of all print techniques. Mezzotints are known for a dark and atmospheric appearance. This is due to the fact that the starting point for any mezzotint is the creation of a roughened surface, which produces a solid black background when printed. To draw the image, the artist employs a series of burnishers and scrapers, with the deepest gouges printing as white areas on the finished print. Hamanishi’s earliest mezzotints, from the 1970s, feature models that he built in his studio. His subject matter is made up of forms that tie, twist, fold, or bind such as twisted steel rods bound with cloth, twigs tied with ropes, origami, and kimono. In his Division series, begun in the late 1980s and continued through 2002, these familiar forms are infused with color and complemented by abstract shapes.

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