Paul Binnie

Scottish, b. 1967

Ushiwakamaru and Benkei (proof of private variant)
(Ushiwakamaru to Benkei)

signed in silver kanji, Bin-ni, with artist's karazuri (embossed) seal Binnie, the title on the left margin also embossed, and sealed again on the bottom margin, Binnie, numbered and signed in pencil, A/P V, Paul Binnie, 2016

dai oban tate-e 15 7/8 by 10 3/4 in., 40.3 by 27.2 cm

This design is one of two original works inspired by a commission from the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Unimaginable by One Mind Alone, organized by Bradley M. Bailey, currently the Curator of Asian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibition asked five artists to produce a work of art which interacted with works from the William Green Collection of Japanese prints.

Ushiwakamaru and Benkei presents a tattoo design inspired by an Utagawa school print from the Green collection of male legs only- the lower half of a design separated from the upper half which would have more clearly define the composition. The replacement upper half designed by Binnie is adapted to the tattoo format, and the model echoes the design by holding a short sword in a similar pose to Ushiwakamaru in the tattoo.

The resulting composition was produced in two versions, one released by the artist in a limited edition of 50 impressions; the other held privately by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst and its trustees. The commercial edition has a brighter palette with dramatic blue bokashi (gradation) slicing diagonally across the background. This print is an artist's proof of the private commission featuring a dark teal background and softer hues overall which compliments the print from the Green Collection. The Amherst variant was issued in a very small edition exclusively for the museum and is not available from the artist.

Unimaginable by One Mind Alone: Exquisite Corpses from the William Green Collection of Japanese Prints, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts, on view April 14 - July 24, 2016.

(inv. no. C-1764)

price: $950

Paul Binnie

with original Kunichika bottom sheet of vertical diptych

Paul Binnie

Toyohara Kunichika, Tokaiya Ginpei in Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura, 1867


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(212) 585-0474 or email
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site last updated
May 25, 2023

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475