In "Pursuit of Universalism" is the first comprehensive, English-language study of early twentieth-century Japanese modern art. In this groundbreaking work, which is also the inaugural recipient of the Phillips Book Prize (awarded by the Phillips Collection Center for the Study of Modern Art), Alicia Volk constructs a critical theory of artistic modernism in Japan between 1900 and 1930 by analyzing the work of Yorozu Tetsugoro, whose paintings she casts as a polemic response to Japan's late-nineteenth-century encounter with European art. Volk places Yorozu at the forefront of a movement that sought to define Japanese art's role in the world by interrogating and ultimately refusing the opposition between East and West. Instead, she vividly demonstrates how Yorozu reframed modern art's dualistic underpinnings and transposed them into an inclusive and synthetic relation between the local and the universal. By looking closely at questions of cultural exchange within modern art, In "Pursuit of Universalism" offers a new and vital account of both Japanese and Euroamerican modernism.
Volk's pioneering study builds bridges between the fields of modern and Asian art and takes its place at the forefront of the emerging global history of modern art. It is a copublication of "The Phillips Collection".
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.
Acknowledgments Note on Translation and Names Introduction: Painting "X" 1. Reverse Japonisme and the Structure of Modern Art in Japan 2. Nude Beauty: A Modernist Critique 3. Inventing the Self: The New Woman and the Revolutionary Artist 4. Expressionism and the "New Period of the Primitive" 5. Unified Rhythm: Toward a Universal Painting Epilogue: Japanese Modern Art in the World Notes Further Reading List of Illustrations Index