SANTA ANA — Prepare to embark on a captivating journey into the extraordinary world of Katsushika Hokusai, the visionary artist renowned for creating “The Great Wave,” one of history’s most iconic prints.
Bowers Museum is proud to present “Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum,” featuring a stunning collection of more than 100 paintings, drawings, woodblock prints, and illustrated books that shed light on the life and artistic brilliance of this revered Japanese master.
The exhibition will be on view from Oct. 21 to Jan. 7, 2024, offering visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience the mesmerizing artistry of Hokusai, whose profound influence continues to resonate with art enthusiasts worldwide.
Hokusai (1760-1849) secured his place in history with the creation of “The Great Wave,” originally featured in his acclaimed series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.” This seminal artwork captures the eternal harmony between man and nature, serving as the focal point for an enchanting exploration into Hokusai’s extensive body of work comprising an estimated 30,000 prints spanning his illustrious 70-year career.
At the heart of this exhibition lies a beautifully preserved early example of “The Great Wave,” radiating the raw power and beauty of nature, a testament to Hokusai’s artistic vision. However, this remarkable collaboration between Bowers Museum and the British Museum goes beyond the familiar and presents a diverse array of Hokusai’s works, showcasing pieces produced right up to his passing at the remarkable age of 90.
“We are thrilled to present ‘Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum’ at Bowers Museum,” said the curator, Alfred Haft.
“Beyond the Great Wave” offers visitors a unique opportunity to delve into Hokusai’s personal beliefs, revealed through a captivating selection of over 100 paintings, drawings, woodblock prints, and illustrated books. These artworks provide insights into his early career, rise to fame, fascination with the natural and supernatural realms, personal life, and his quest for immortality through his art. Hokusai’s creations stand distinct from the art of his Japanese contemporaries, characterized by an intensely individual, subjective, energized, and sublime style, promising a powerfully emotional and spiritual experience to all who attend.
Though Hokusai never left Japan during his lifetime, his artistic brilliance transcended geographical boundaries, captivating the hearts and minds of European artists and collectors, including luminaries such as Monet and Van Gogh. “Beyond the Great Wave” features biographical portraits of six individuals who played a pivotal role in building the Hokusai collection at the British Museum. These scholars and proponents of Japanese art appreciated and understood Hokusai’s genius, skill, and boundless invention, solidifying his lasting impact on the world of art.
The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum and the Bowers Museum.
Also on view: “The Power of Photography” (through Jan. 14), “Miao: Masters of Silver,” “Gemstone Carvings: The Masterworks of Harold Van Pelt,” “California Bound: Image and Identity, 1850-1930,” “Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands,” “Ancient Arts of China,” “First Californians,” “Ceramics of Western Mexico,” “California Legacies: Missions and Ranchos (1768-1848).”
Bowers Museum is located at 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Tickets (including “Hokusai” and general admission): Bowers members, free; adults, $28; seniors (62+) and students (12), $25; children (3-11), $10; children (under 3), free (children must be accompanied by paying adult); Santa Ana residents (Sunday only), $10; active military and North American Reciprocal Museum Association members, $10.
Parking available directly north of the museum for $6.
For more information, call (714) 567-3600 or visit www.bowers.org.