Featured Artist | Ryohei Tanaka

Featured Artist | Ryohei Tanaka


Davidson Galleries is pleased to share new additions to our Collection by Ryohei Tanaka, including 7 etchings from 1975 to 1991 and 4 catalogue raisonnés signed by the artist. Tanaka is known for his etchings that capture the slow suburban life and landscape of Japan in exquisite detail. Though human figures rarely appear in Tanaka’s work, he explored the meeting of humans and nature, implying the presence of people amongst their landscape through their homes, tools, paths traveled, etc.

This particular group of works illustrate Tanaka’s mastery of contrasting textures. Tight patterns of terra cotta roofing holds weight behind the free flowing movement of branches and leaves. Clean, bright streaks of rain cut through dense foliage. Soft wood patterns meet smooth, solid stone. In Summer Room - B, we see Tanaka’s rare use of color invite us to the bright outdoors from the quiet interior space and sleeping cat. His signature thatched roofs appear in several of these pieces, especially as the focus of Gathering Roofs.  

Please view these new works from Ryohei Tanaka alongside his other works offered by Davidson Galleries on our website here: Collection | Ryohei Tanaka or call/email to make an appointment to view them in person. Framed works are pictured online but not available for direct purchase on our website. Please contact the gallery to inquire or purchase.

Ryohei Tanaka (also Tanaka Ryōhei) was born in 1933 in Takatsuki City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Tanaka first studied printmaking under Professor Furuno Yoshio in 1963 at the age of thirty and was largely self-taught. He chose copperplate etching as his primary medium at a time when traditional woodblock printmaking was particularly dominant in Japan. Tanaka spent his entire life in Takatsuki, a suburban city between Kyoto and Osaka, the landscape of which was the main subject matter of his work. He is known for his highly detailed etchings of the built structures and nature in his suburban life. Working from quick sketches done onsite, Tanaka translated the barns, houses, trees, and rice paddies into hyperrealistic detail in the plate. During his lifetime, Tanaka completed over 760 original prints. He completed his final etching at age eighty and passed away six years later in 2019.