Yoshishige Saito


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Japanese painter and maker of constructions, born in Tokyo. Self-taught as an artist, in 1920 he saw an avant-garde Russian art exhibition in Tokyo and it was there that he met David Burliuk. His interest in Russia was political as well as artistic and 1928 he joined a Marxist seminar group. In 1931 he began making reliefs in plywood under the influence of Dada and Constructivism. He came to prominence in 1956 with his series of Oni paintings featuring Japanese demons, and he had his first one-man show at the Tokyo Gallery in 1958. From then he was recognized as one of the leading exponents of abstract art in Japan. From Lyrical Abstraction he turned to a more novel mode, working with an electric drill on plywood covered with a uniform colour. Such works brought him an international reputation. Later he made abstract constructions in wood on an environmental scale. He won numerous awards at international events including the São Paulo Bienal in 1961. From 1964 to 1973 he was professor of art at Tama College of Art, Tokyo.

Subjects: Art.

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