Born in 1895 and designated in 1956 a ‘Living National Treasure’ by the Japanese government, Keisuke Serizawa (1895-1984, 芹沢 銈介) brings bold color and form, powerful graphics, and playful rhythmic shapes to his artistic creations. Widely admired as an innovative textile artist throughout his extremely productive career, the term “katae-zome” (or katazome) was coined to honor his unique, elegant method of stencil application. He is associated with the traditional folk-art movement Mingei (translates as ‘Peoples Crafts’) but transcends the craftsman-like anonymity of the movement with his bold idiosyncratic style. He attracted international admirers as wide-ranging as the painter Balthus, whose studio visit with Serizawa resulted in a 1976 Parisian exhibition, and the American wives stationed on Army bases in Japan, among whom his printed calendars were extremely popular.
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