10-1e1217e041

Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail: Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theater.

PHOENIX, AZ.- The Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail: Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theatre exhibition is on view at Phoenix Art Museum until November 16 and explores Noh, the traditional Japanese theatre form that incorporates music, dance and drama. Noh theatre was established in the 14th century and its dramas explore profound human emotions through subtle and symbolic performances that tell stories adopted from well-known myths, historical events and classical literatures. On display are 22 Noh masks, a pair of two-panel screens and 38 prints that depict Noh actors on stage. 

The exhibition spans a variety of media related to Noh theatre to lend a multi-dimensional approach to appreciating its aesthetics: simplicity, nuance and the distaste for realism. The pre-modern and early modern era masks vary in depiction from a quiet woman to a wrathful demon, but the artistry lies in understanding ways the actor can play with light and the mask’s tilt to portray a variety of emotions. In addition to human figures some of the masks were used for divine, demonic and animal roles of Noh theatre. Displaying many masks together illustrates the broad range of Noh characters and how each mask with its emblematic expression comes alive during a masterful performance. 

Phoenix Art Museum’s Curator of Asian Art Janet Baker, Ph.D. said, “Noh is an elegant and restrained form of theatre that moves very slowly. There are moments in the drama where the actors actually stand still, allowing the audience to appreciate the beauty of their pose, as well as their costume and mask.” Baker added, “These are the moments captured in the prints by K?gyo and his followers, who studied Noh theatre in depth in order to portray it so beautifully in these images.” 

11-be3afa3f18

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Akubo-jō, late Edo - Meiji period, 1789-1912, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21.3 x 15.9 cm), 2010.324.
In addition to the masks are wonderful prints produced by the publishing house of Daikokuya Heikichi who, aiming to revive the tradition of fine Japanese woodblock prints, commissioned painter Tsukioka Kōgyo (1869-1927) to capture the quintessential moments of Noh drama in his work. Done on high-quality paper with silver and gold accents, the prints show that the woodblock carvers and printers masterfully recreated the delicate touch of brushwork by Kōgyo. The exhibition also includes prints by Kōgyo’s daughter Tsukioka Gyokusei (1908-2009) who carried on this tradition. 

14-56156ea5a8

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Orokogata, 1901-1902, album of 52 leaves, handmade woodblock prints on paper,with covers of padded silk and board. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary; 9 󰂽 x 14 󰂽 in. (24.1 x 36.8 cm), 2009.258 

James K. Ballinger, The Sybil Harrington Director at Phoenix Art Museum, said, “This exhibition draws upon two wonderful recent gifts to Phoenix Art Museum from members of our community. It demonstrates how our museum’s growth comes from local collectors who are dedicated to this institution and its future.” Ballinger added, “In 2009 Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman generously donated some Noh prints and a year later Roger Dunn gave us additional prints, a pair of two-panel screens and the masks to further strengthen our Asian art collection.” 

Quiet Rage, Gentle Wail: Prints and Masks of Japanese Noh Theatre was organized by Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition is part of the three-year grant project, Japan in Global Context, organized by Arizona State University and funded by the Japan Foundation. The exhibition will be at Phoenix Art Museum until November 16, 2014. 

25-59098f003e

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Eboshi Ori, The Left-Folded Cap, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paperGift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.274.

22-8eb1c3657d

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Kokushijō, Taisho period, 1912-1926, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 19.7 x 15.6 cm), 2010.326

16-caf7dbb838

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Tanikō (Valley Rites), 1901-1902, album of 52 leaves, handmade woodblock prints on paper, with covers of padded silk and board. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary; 9,5 x 14,5 in. (24.1 x 36.8 cm), 2009.258.

23-ecfe318fa7

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Kokushijō, late Edo period, 1789-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn 18.7 x 14.9 cm, 2010.328.

24-ef1a0b8fc4

Tsukioka Gyokusei, Seiōbo (Queen Mother of the West), 1897-1975, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.262.

26-19ac111e34

Left: Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Funabenkei (Benkei in the Boat), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.281. Right: Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Suji Ayakashi (Ryō no otoko), late Edo period, 1789-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 8 x 5¾ in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm), 2010.320

EA_1956_3516-e-L

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Ataka, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.270.

29-a7fc71f3dd

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Ohara Gokō (The Imperial Journey to Ohara), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.275.

30-ec2c018e37

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Michimori, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.271.

EA_1956_3516-f-L

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Imawaka, late Edo - Meiji period, 1789-1912, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 7 ¾ x 5 ½ in. (19.7 x 14 cm), 2010.316.

EA_1956_3516-h-L

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Ko-omote, Showa period, 1926-1989, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 13 cm, 2010.337.

EA_1956_3516-i-L

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Sōshi Arai Komachi (Komachi’sPaper-washing), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koenemanin honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.269.

EA_1956_3516-j-L

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Sekidera Komachi (Komachi at Seki Temple), woodblock print. Gift of Roger Dunn, 2010.195.

EA_1956_3516-k-L

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Ama (The Pearl Diver), from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koenemanin honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.272.

EA_1956_3516-l-L

Left: Tsukioka Gyokusei, Scene from Kagetsu, 1897-1975, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.261. Right: Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Kasshiki, mid-late Edo period, 1704-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 13.2 cm, 2010.317.

EA_1956_3516-m-L

Left: Tsukioka Kōgyo, Scene from Ikkaku Sennin, from the series One Hundred Noh Plays, 1922-1925, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.260. Right: Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Ikkaku Sennin, Taisho period, 1912-1926, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn,19.7 x 14 cm, 2010.327.

EA_1956_3516-n-L

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge), woodblock print. Gift of Roger Dunn, 2010.208.

EA_1956_3516-o-L

Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Saru, late Edo period, 1789-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 20.6 x 15.2 cm, 2010.321.

64-2cd7b73de2

Tsukioka Kōgyo, Kyōgen scene from Saruzatō, from the series Pictures of Noh Plays, 1897, woodblock print on paper. Gift of Sherri Beadles and Gene Koeneman in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary, 2009.279.

EA_1956_3516-p-L

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Yamamba, Meiji period, 1868-1912, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 13.5 cm, 2010.318.

Nora1

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Yoroboshi, Taisho period, 1912-1926, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 12.7 cm, 2010.336.

Seisa Palm Cockatoo thisispaper

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Yase otoko (Ryō no Yase otoko), Showa period, 1926-1989, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 20.6 x 14 cm, 2010.323.

76-5942fa47df

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Ishio-jō, mid Edo period, 1704-1789, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 14.6 cm, 2010.325.

77-fcb207a2a4

Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Oto, Taisho - Showa period, 1912-1989, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 21 x 15.9 cm, 2010.330.

78-820510a0b0

Unknown, Japan, Noh mask, Oji, Meiji period, 1868-1912,painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 20.3 x 14.6 cm, 2010.319.

79-6d4b4f724c

Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Buaku, late Edo period, 1789-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 7 ¾ x 6 ¾ in.,  (19.7 x 17.1 cm), 2010.332.

80-c332df8a35

Left: Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Usofuki, Showa period, 1926-1989, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 7 ½ x 6 ½ in. (19.1 x 16.5 cm), 2010.333 - Right: Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Usofuki, late Edo period, 1789-1868, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 8 x 5 ¾ in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm), 2010.334.

81-2a3ad6d771

Unknown, Japan, Kyōgen mask, Kitsune, Taisho period, 1912-1926, painted wood. Gift of Roger Dunn, 8 x 5 ½ in. (20.3 x 14 cm), 2010.335.