Through a New Lens


One of the masters of postwar photography, Ishimoto Yasuhiro (born 1921), gets a new look when the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston%26#8217;s assistant curator of photography, Yasufumi Nakamori, mounts %26#8220;Katsura: Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture, Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro.%26#8221; The exhibition will be a revelation for those unfamiliar with Ishimoto%26#8217;s work and life. The American-born photographer grew up in Japan, then returned to the United States before World War II, only to be imprisoned in an internment camp. After the war, he studied photography and graduated from Chicago%26#8217;s acclaimed Institute of Design, aka the %26#8220;New Bauhaus.%26#8221; The MFAH%26#8217;s exhibition reveals the story behind Yasuhiro%26#8217;s most pivotal body of work: black-and-white images taken between 1953 and 1954 of Ishimoto%26#8217;s exquisite 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa. Fifty years ago, Yale University Press first published a seminal volume of these works, penned by architect Tange Kenzo %26#8212; a version that eliminated many intimate views of nature and closely cropped photographs to emphasize a modernist agenda. The MFAH%26#8217;s show highlights 70 works, now re-released in a new volume by Yale that finally restores the lensman%26#8217;s original perspective. Through September 12; mfah.org.
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Image:%26nbsp; Ishimoto Yasuhiro%26#8217;s Untitled from the series %26#8220;Katsura,%26#8221; 1953 %26#8211; 1954, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Photo collection MFAH %26#169; Ishimoto Yasuhiro

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