Kimiyo Mishima

Dates: Mar 11 – Apr 9, 2016
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery New York
Opening Reception with the Artist: Friday, Mar 11, 17:30 – 19:30

Taka Ishii Gallery New York is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in New York of Kimiyo Mishima, the prominent Japanese contemporary artist. On view are eight paintings executed from 1960 to 1966, a time when movements such as Art Informel, Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art exerted a significant influence on Japanese artists. Responding to these movements, from the 1950s and into the 1960s, Mishima established her own style and invoked techniques such as collage and repetitive imagery to create signature works. Her paintings produced in the 1960s began a process which led to ceramic works, which she began to create after 1971, using printed matter such as newspapers, magazines and advertising flyers which Mishima then transferred onto the works with a silkscreen process.

Work 60-B (1960), a collaged oil painting on canvas, is a signature work, abstractly expressing the artist’s fear and anxiety towards an overly informational society through her use of appropriated repeated lettering and imagery of the human body. The painting’s bold layout in collage features a reversed triangular shape and depicts the tense relationship the artist finds between painting and material. In Mishima’s art, color plays an all important role; dense at the time when Work 60-B was produced, resonant of her interest in Art Informel and continuing, as her palette transformed into muted tonalities, as seen in Recollection I, Recollection II and Recollection III, all painted in 1962.

Fragment II (1964) and Transfiguration II (1966) mark a departure for the artist into brighter colors. Fragment II is composed of her signature darker tone colors of earlier works while indicating a shift to the use of luminous colors. This large-scale painting is characteristically filled with printed matter, a result of her experimental challenge to specific art trends imported from outside Japan as well as her maturity in her own method and technique. And in Transfiguration II, not only her palette becomes more vivid but also Mishima’s keen sense of composition is beautifully expressed, particularly evident in the space at the right side of the painting.

Kimiyo Mishima was born in 1932 in Osaka, and began painting in her teens. Major solo exhibitions of her work have been held at Art Factory Jonanjima, Tokyo (2015), “Painting Period 1954-1970”, Gallery Yamaki Fine Art, Hyogo (2013), Gallery Nii, Tokyo (2004), Contemporary Art Museum, Ise, Mie (2004) and Minami Gallery, Tokyo (1974). In 1986, she received a Rockefeller Scholarship ACC and lived and worked in New York for a year. Her works are included in the Permanent Collections of The Everson Museum of Art, New York; The First National Bank of Chicago; The Museum of Art Olot, Spain; The Korean Culture & Arts Foundation Seoul; The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo; The National Museum of Art, Osaka; Benesse Art Site Naoshima; and The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.

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