Tomoe Yokoi was born in Nagoya Japan in 1943. She began
art studies at Bunk Tokyo College of Art, were the curriculum was traditional
techniques. Subject matter stressed was realistic everyday images such
as fruits, musical instruments, and flowers. In 1964, following graduation,
Yokoi moved to Paris, and studied intaglio printmaking with S. W. Hayter
as this famous workshop, Atelier. In Paris Yokoi perfected her technique
of mezzotint, expanding its parameters to include more complex images
and subtle color nuances.
In 1971 Yokoi moved to New York City where she worked and
introduced her art to New York audiences. She developed a unique style
which combines and is a synthesis of her Japanese, Parisian, and New York
experiences. Yoki's work is owned in prestigious permanent collections
including: National Gallerie the Musee d' Art Moderne, Paris; the Bibliotheque
Nationale, Paris; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Free Library of Philadelphia,
in Pennsylvania. Yokoi has exhibited throughout Europe and the United
States including: Norwegian International Print Biennial, Oslo; Paris
International Print Biennial; SAGA National Print Exhibition, New York;
IKI International Art Fair, Dusseldorf; British International Print Biennial,
Bradford; and Ljubljana International Print Biennial, Yugoslavia.
Mezzotint technique, the most difficult of all printmaking
processes, begins with a form of cooper engraving dating from the 17th
century. A painstaking etching medium, requiring physical strength for
work directly on a metal plate, it is capable of producing original prints
with rich subtle tones, in a myriad of variations. The technique, sometimes
called reverse engraving, begins with a dark background from which an
image is lightened.
Yokoi's art is literally a creation of light being brought out of darkness. Her still life works have a timeless quality; they combine the ancient mezzotint printmaking technique with European beau-art subjects, oriental asymmetry, and elegant design. Yoki's mezzotint technique is unusual. The art is soft visually and physically rich in texture. A master at her art, Yokoi's pictures have chiaroscuro without any trace of sharp lines, generally expected in etching techniques. The pieces below are classic examples of Yokoi's best work.
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