In Pursuit of Universalism: Yorozu Tetsugoro and Japanese Modern Art. ¯ By Alicia Volk. University of California Press, Berkeley, 2010. xiv, 308 pages. $49.95. Reviewed by Miriam Wattles University of California, Santa Barbara Alicia Volk, with the publication of In Pursuit of Universalism: Yorozu Tetsugoro and Japanese Modernism, has made an important contribution to ¯ the growing literature on alternative artistic modernisms. Her rich account of the artist Yorozu Tetsugoro (18851927), who worked in Tokyo, Kanagawa, ¯ and Iwate in the early decades of the twentieth century, disturbs the stillpresiding simple linear timeline of modernism that moves from the clusters of avant-garde artists working in Paris in the nineteenth century to the brave new bands of modern artists working in New York in the mid-twentieth century. Borrowing from Anne Louise Pratt and Kobena Mercer, Volk states her aim as a "contrapuntal account of modernism," one that is global and relational by contrast to the original-versus-derivative way of thinking that holds the Euro-American artistic canon up as the only standard (p. 10). Volk thus ambitiously sets up her project as a contextualization of Yorozu's work within the artistic discourse both inside and outside Japan. Yorozu was primarily a painter
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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