The difference images make – and making room for them

There is always more to say about a show or work of art than can fit in an essay or review, and my piece on “The Kimono in Print” is no exception. I was so happy to see that Kate LaVoie, the arts page photo editor, uploaded more than a half dozen images onto the on-line version. Don’t know how many she managed to squeeze onto the page in the print edition — for that I will have to wait to get my paper this morning. This is the kind of show where images make even a bigger difference than usual. Virtually all the works woodblock prints, so a single medium. The vast majority feature women or actors impersonating female roles, so very similar subjects. And yet there is a lot variety among them. But it takes a lot of words to bring that out. So you describe a few, point out the occasional interesting feature and, in this case, reallocate words that I would have ordinarily used to identify curators in order to fit in yet one more telling detail. So here is my chance to make that right (and, yes, to prove my point about how many words I reclaimed for the show): Credit for the “Kimono in Print” and its catalog goes to Vivian Li, formerly associate curator of Asian art at the Worcester Art Museum and currently curator of contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art. But, as I mention in the review, Covid upended the original plan which was for Kimono in Print to open last summer in concert with “Kimono Couture,” a show about the history and making of kimonos. That show, co-curated by Li and Christine Starkman, depended on loans from Japan so was canceled because of the pandemic. In steps a third curator, Rachel Parikh, current associate curator of Asian art at the Worcester Art Museum, who did a brilliant job converting it into a virtual exhibition.

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