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Kuniyoshi, Yasuo - Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is organizing a major exhibition (03.04.2015 - 30.08.2015) about

>> Yasuo Kuniyoshi * 1889 Okayama1953 New York

one of the finest early American modernists. Kuniyoshi’s career and art evolved from innocence and early success to complexity and disillusionment. Born in Japan in 1889, Kuniyoshi came to the United States as a teenager and studied art in New York. He came into prominence during the 1920s through his distinctive modern figural style, original subjects, and humor. His work became more sensuous and worldly after two long stays in Paris, as he painted moody, reflective women and still lifes with unusual objects.

Kuniyoshi was thoroughly integrated into American life and the art world, but immigration law prevented him from becoming an American citizen. Classified an “enemy alien” after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he remained steadfastly on the side of his adopted country during the painful war years, working with the Office of War Information to create artworks indicting Japanese atrocities. After the war, Kuniyoshi developed a compelling late style, with bitter subjects and paradoxically bright colors.

The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi will be a highly selective survey of nearly seventy of the artist’s best paintings and drawings, chosen from leading public and private collections in America and Japan. It will be the first overview of Kuniyoshi’s work in more than twenty-five years. (Text: Smithsonian American Art Museum)