this post explores notions of modernity by taking one object and then telescoping outwards to view the space, building and place that ultimately interact with it. Having just visited frank lloyd wright's falling water residence, i decided to focus on the japanese wood block print, which hangs on a wall in the largest bedroom.
the block print is titled horikiri iris garden and was completed in 1857 by utagawa hiroshige, a prolific ukiyo-e landscape artist who was known for his unconventional cropping, composition and perspective. hiroshige's work influenced post-impressionist artists such as vincent van gogh and was highly valued by architect frank lloyd wright, who integrated japanese principles such as asymmetry, horizontality and a connection to nature into his buildings.
Wright collected japanese wood block prints and enjoyed hanging them in his spaces, which are in a sense, abstracted reflections of the ukiyo-e aesthetic. looking at the collage above, it's clear that the print, bedroom, falling water residence and laurel highlands are all connected to create what wright called "organic architecture", which is centered around the belief that buildings should be part of their surrounds, rather than defy them. This detailed, holistic approach to architecture and design is uniquely modern in that it strives for symbiosis and is informed by diverse perspectives.