Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell - Signed Edition

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This kaleidoscopic catalog celebrates avant-garde artist Ay-Ō's first major museum exhibition in the United States. Known as the "Rainbow Artist" for the prominent bright motif in his work, Ay-Ō has long referred to this compulsion as his "rainbow hell." Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell invites readers into the vibrant world of his brilliant art, mind, and imagination, featuring artwork from the first major U.S. museum exhibition devoted to his work.

Ay-Ō Happy Rainbow Hell presents approximately 140 gorgeous illustrations from the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, home to the largest U.S. collection of Ay-Ō's silkscreen prints, and loans from other U.S. institutions along with enlightening catalog entries to better appreciate each piece. The book includes an essay from Kit Brooks, the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, that provides a biography of Ay-Ō; an illustrated essay from Ay-Ō's longtime printer Sukeda Kenryō; and a message from the artist Ay-Ō himself.

Printed on heavy 100# paper and in 7 colors (with added green, orange, and metallic gold inks, plus 2 spot colors and spot varnish) to achieve Ay-Ō's vibrant color palette, the book is its own stunning art object. The dustjacket, printed and silkscreened on uncoated, felted art board, is die-cut to reveal the rainbow-printed caseside.

Museum Story

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, opened to the public in 1923, a gift to the nation from Charles Lang Freer. The Gallery contains an extensive collection of oriental art, prints, sculpture and silk panels, as well as a major group of 19th and 20th century American works.


  • Book signed by the author
  • Hardcover
  • 160 pages, 140 full-color illustrations
  • 11.25" x 9.75"
  • Written by Kit Brooks, the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art
  • Compilation of illustrations by avant garde artist Ay-Ō
  • Contribution by Ay-Ō's longtime printer Sukeda Kenryō