An Omen from the portfolio

The Original Prints - 44 Modern Japanese Print Artists 1973

by Kurosaki Akira

IHL Cat. #2098


An Omen, also known as Secret Codes A: Omen, was one of five original prints included in the 1973 print portfolio "The Original Prints" which accompanied 300 numbered copies of the two volume work 44 Modern Japanese Print Artists, authored and compiled by print artist and supporter/promoter of modern Japanese prints, Gaston Petit.

While human body parts became part of Akira's work early on, the ear awaited its debut until 1973, the year this print was issued.

The artist's 1984 catalog raisonné lists the edition size for this print as 350 prints, but the print itself carries an edition size of 300.[1] 

The bright and saturated colors we see in this print is typical of Akira's work through the 1980s and is explained by curator Hideo Tomiyama in his essay "Traces of the Woodblock Print, Artist Akira Kurosaki," as follows: "Because he did not use a key-block method which outlines each form, he began to use pigments whose value and chroma were intended to give strong contrasts in order to distinguish the borders between colors and clarify forms."[2]

[1] Akira Kurosaki Woodblock Prints, 1965-1983, Hideo Tomiyama and Akira Kurosaki, Shirota Gallery November, 1984

[2] Ibid, p. 18.

The Portfolio

The complete packaging for the print portfolio and the accompanying volumes

right: printing on the envelope containing Kurosaki's print

Print Details

An Omen #2269c

artist signature and date