kimono influence


From her twenties until the end of her life, O’Keeffe studied and admired various aspects of Asian culture. Many of her abstracted landscapes, such as this bird’s eye view of a river, show her interest in the calligraphic line and flattened perspective of Japanese and Chinese painting. // Posing for the photographer Bruce Weber in 1984, O’Keeffe fused Eastern and Western influences by pairing a kimono with a vaquero hat. The swirl of her “GOK” brooch, designed by her friend Alexander Calder, echoes the larger form of her own sculpture behind her. // This kimono, a padded men’s garment in striped gray silk with a black collar, suited her lifelong taste for clothing that was practical, androgynous, and monochromatic, while also reflecting her fascination with Asian culture.

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Silk Kimono.  Early Showa Period (1927-1940), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery.  A black and white chirimen silk kimono featuring stenciled abstract patterning. This artifact is a reflection of the great art experimentation in Japan occurred during the exuberant and confident Taisho and early Showa periods of the 1912-1940 period. This dazzling kimono reflects the influence on Japanese art from Europe and North America during this period. The influence that Japan had on the development of Art Nouveau and art Deco in the West is profound, but there has been little research on the cross-pollination of art influences between the Japanese and the West during several decades preceding WWII. A lot of extant kimonos from this pre-WWII period - especially meisen silk ones - sport clearly Western-influenced 20th century art styles. However, is the art on kimonos like this example only influenced by the West, or is their more art breakthroughs in Japan during this period than has been researched and documented?

Kimono, 1920s/30s, Taishô period (1912–1926) /Shôwa period (1926–1989), Japan.

Silk, stencil-printed warp and weft (heiyo kasuri) plain weave; lined with cotton, plain weave
155 x 127 cm (61 x 50 in.)

Louise Lutz Endowment, 1997.641

At first glance, the strong geometric and rhythmic angular forms of this striking kimono display the influence of the Bauhaus, de Stijl, or Futurism. The stencil with an abstract design on view in this gallery demonstrates the pre-existing Japanese artistic inclination toward geometrical forms and abstraction. Overall, the design plays with rectilinear and curvilinear shapes and spatial relationships, characteristics of Japanese design.