Only an artist that has spent long hours observing the natural world could distill it into such an abbreviated yet accurate scene. Bats Flying before the Moon is perfect in all regards: pure artifice in its juxtaposition of bats and moon, a pure technique in its drawing of the animals with a few dry brushstrokes and of the moon with the most subtle negative curve, and pure magic in its animating the bats with their distinctive jerky speed. So much is achieved with so little, that we gain enjoyment, at the very least, from the artist’s virtuosity, regardless of what we feel for squeaking rodents with wings.
About This Artist
Kishi Renzan was trained in the studio of Kishi Ganku, his father-in- law and the founder of the Kishi School*. Renzan was a master of distinctive minimalist brushwork and composition. He is also known for his images of animals and was particularly adept at capturing the essence of an animal’s spirit in the frozen moment.
*In the history of Japanese art, it was common that school of art has its founder’s family name as the name of the school and it was hereditary, as opposed to Minimalism or Abstract Expressionism.