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TOKO SHINODA     (1913-2021)

Toko Shinoda is a Japanese artist known for sumi ink paintings and prints that blend traditional calligraphy with Modern abstraction.
Born in China in 2013 during Japanese occupation, she moved to Japan with her family at age 2.
Shinoda had an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1953. She subsequently moved to New York three years later, residing there until 1958. There, she came into contact with the works of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and other key figures of the abstract expressionism movement.
During her life she was represented by Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and Annely Juda Gallery in London, among others.
A 1983 interview in Time magazine asserted "her trail-blazing accomplishments are analogous to Picasso's" . Her style was described as "an art of elegant simplicity and high drama" by the The Plain Dealer in 1997. Her art was also characterized by The Independent in 2011 as "elegant, minimal and very, very composed", adding that "her roots as a calligrapher are clear, as are her connections with American art of the 1950s, but she is quite obviously a major artist in her own right".
Shinoda was honored on a postage stamp issued by Japan Post Holdings in 2016. She was the only Japanese artist to have been celebrated in this manner while still alive.
Shinoda's works have been collected by public galleries and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Metropolitan Museum (New York ), the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the British Museum in London, the Art Institute of Chicago, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Singapore Art Museum, the National Museum of Singapore.

Rothko, and Clyfford Still, Francis is also associated to the work of Joan Mitchell Helen Frankenthaler, as he was more interested in the formal arrangement of the picture plane than the expressivity of the individual artist. “Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment,” Francis once reflected.

His paintings can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among others.

Toko Shinoda: Text


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Sumi ink and watercolor on paper laid on board

22 by 32.5 in. (55.9 x 82.6 cm)

Sealed on the front; titled and signed on the reverse

Executed in 1979

Betty Parsons Gallery, New York



Lithograph (Edition 18/50)

23.3 by 17.3 in. (59 x 44 cm)
Titled, signed, and dated on the front
Executed in 1996
Fine Arts Tokyo Franell Gallery (label on verso)

Toko Shinoda: Our Artists
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