Strange eyes… keep on watching me. Every time I see this print, that’s what I think and hear in my head. This pencil signed and numbered double-oban by Kaoru Kawano is stunning in both its size and directness. Numbered 7/50 in pencil in the lower margin, this is a rare print by Kawano; copies of this print published as an open oban edition typically sell between $500-$1000.
The Woodblock Print
This double-oban print is pencil signed, titled, and numbered 18/50 in the bottom margin. The print is in very fine condition overall, but with some condition issues outside the image itself. The image and color are strong without any discolorations, and the verso is mostly clean with the maker mark in the upper right corner. There is tape residue in parts of the verso, and there is glue residue still in parts of the front margins (visible).
About the Artist
Kaoru Kawano was a Japanese printmaker who worked during the Showa period (河野薫, 1926-1989). Born in Hokkaido in 1916, Kawano studied at Kawabata Art School during the 1930s. He gained an international his reputation through successful solo exhibitions in North America and elsewhere. His prints frequently depict children and animals, combining Western-style elements with the tradition of woodblock printmaking. Kawano’s works are also appreciated for the way in which they incorporate the woodgrain of the block into the design.