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date: 19 October 2019

Imai, Toshimitsulocked

(b Kyoto, May 6, 1928).
  • Akira Tatehata


(b Kyoto, May 6, 1928).

Japanese painter. After graduating from Musashi High School he painted impastoed figurative works in a Fauvist style. He went to France in 1952 and in 1955 met the French critic Michel Tapié (1909–87). His style underwent a dramatic change to Art informel. His paintings in the late 1950s were aggressively and intensely textured, with vivid colours of red, yellow and black, and a fierce sense of vibration over the entire pictorial surface. However, the grounds of the paintings had the serenely beautiful texture of Chinese porcelain. This East Asian sensibility confirmed Imai’s importance for the Art informel artists, who were searching for an alternative aesthetic to that of Western modernity. Imai was also an influential activist and after visiting Japan in 1957 with Tapié, Sam Francis and Georges Mathieu, helped to arouse interest in Art informel in Japan. His flamboyant gestural paintings of the 1960s were mainly red, with thickly applied paint and dripping lines running in spiral and radial directions. From the 1970s he moved between Japan and Paris. He began to include words in his ...

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