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Sugai, Kumi

*1919 Kobe (Japan) – †1996 Kobe (Japan)

Sugai's abstract paintings, prints and also sculptural works are among the most important of modern Japanese art and the post-war period. He is regarded as a pioneer of Japanese abstract expressionism. For many years, he unwaveringly transformed processes influenced by Japanese tradition into expressionist works with Western influence.

Kumi Sugai painted his first oil paintings as a child, which later became his art studies in Osaka and enabled him to earn his money with illustration and graphics. After his studies he dealt extensively with western painters like Klee, Pollock, Miró and Calder. This intensive engagement was decisive for his artistic work. So he was drawn to Paris, where he continued his art studies and developed his love for printmaking and especially for lithography. This new and energetic passion was also felt by gallery owners, who quickly signed the artist. Paris became his adopted home until shortly before his death. Sugai achieved international appreciation, took part in the documenta II in Kassel and won the prize at the Venice Biennale. Many other awards followed. By the end of the 1960s he was already famous in Japan and was represented in many important museums.

His works are unique in form and coloration and work out a pictorial translation of Japanese typography. His motifs range from organically flat to strictly geometrical forms. But before he lost himself in them, he always recalled his artistic origin, the calligraphy of Japan. Sugai's lively style outlines abstract phenomena that often appear in basic geometric forms, vary in numerous compositions, and finally merge into a soft surrealism. Large forms such as the sickle and circle often appear - a play on his Asian repertoire of signs and symbols. Prints occupy a significant part of his oeuvre and, like his painting, impress with an incorruptible, expressive play of forms with geometry.


450,00 €

Kumi Sugai: "S" Red And Black (Rouge et noir) 1992, Lithograph, signed

Lithograph printed in red and black on light grey letter "S", signed and numbered in pencil, from the edition of 100 on wove paper

450,00 €

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