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Biography Ono, Tadashige (1909 - 1990)
Tadashige Ono was born in Tokyo. As founding member of the Shin Hanga Shūdan (New Print Group) he constantly championed the cause of art for the masses. Apart from that he has contributed significantly to the theory and history of Hanga: he wrote a handbook of print techniques in 1960. He was a visiting professor at various universities in Japan.
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His palette is mainly sombre: dark brown and grey pigments. His subjects often express his social awareness. His early prints were roughly carved to express the feeling that hanga were for the masses.
Already popular with a relatively small group of collectors during his lifetime, his reputation has soared after his death, and his work is now in great demand.
The special effect of the colours of his prints (especially his prints from the 50s and later) is achieved by printing light, opaque (and semi-transparent) colours over darker surfaces; this technique is called inkoku tashoku-zuri mokuhan (colour negative woodblock printing).
Instantly recognizable, and highly individual and original, Tadashige Ono's work deserves the recognition it is now getting.