In Pursuit of Universalism: Yorozu Tetsugorō and Japanese Modern Art

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University of California Press, 2010 - Painting, Japanese - 308 pages
"Volk's impressive study rethinks the East-West binary often reiterated in discussions of Japanese modernism by reinserting local aspects into the universalizing tendencies of modernism itself. The book makes an important contribution to the growing literature on modern Japanese art history by providing an alternative comparative framework for understanding the global development of modernism that decenters Euro-America. Rigorously historical in her critique, Volk destabilizes our understanding of the Japanese experience of modernity through the prism of Yorozu's singular vision of the self, leaving us questioning conventional wisdom and contented to wobble."--Gennifer Weisenfeld, Duke University

"In Volk's affectingly stunning and deeply reflective study of the Japanese artist Yorozu Tetsugorō's work between 1910-1930, we have a profoundly historical reminder of how modernism everywhere struggled to meet the demands of the new with the readymades of received artistic practices. In this study of Yorozu's utopian universalist project, Volk has imaginatively broadened our understanding of the modernist moment and perceptively captured its global program to unify art and life, contemporary culture and history."--Harry Harootunian, author of Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture and Community in Interwar Japan

From inside the book


Reverse Japonisme and the Structure of Modern Art in Japan
A Modernist Critique
The New Woman and the Revolutionary Artist

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About the author (2010)

Alicia Volk is Assistant Professor of Japanese Art History at the University of Maryland and is the author of Made in Japan: The Postwar Creative Print Movement and the coauthor of Japan and Paris: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and the Modern Era.

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