Lithography is a process
that was developed in Europe in 1796 by Aloys Senefender. Using
stone or aluminum plates, colors are transferred onto paper to create
art prints. The process involves using an oil crayon to set the
design on the plates, which colored ink will replace. The ink will
then be printed to the paper in this shape. The process is repeated
for different colors of inks which combine to create the design
on the paper.
While not Japanese in origin, lithography has similarities to traditional
woodblock printing. In the printing of Ukiyo-e,
the shape of wood created designs in ink on paper as opposed to
the chemical process used in lithography. Several Japanese artists
have picked up and applied their own style to lithography. One of
the best recent artists in this genre of Japanese aluminum lithograpy
is Yasuhiro Suzuki, whose
work above is in the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art collection.