<strong>Kenji Yoshida</strong>, <em>La Vie</em>, 1992. Oil and metals on canvas, 60 x 72 cm.<strong>Kenji Yoshida</strong>, <em>La Vie</em>, 2008. Oil and metals on canvas, 114 x 195 cm.<strong>Kenji Yoshida</strong>, <em>La Vie</em>, 1993. Oil and metals on canvas, 195 x 780 cm.


Kenji Yoshida.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet 2007.
Kenji Yoshida, La Vie, 2008. Oil and metals on canvas,
81 x 100 cm.

Kenji Yoshida’s monumental works consist of ethereal gold, silver and precious metals on canvas which unite a restrained tradition of Japanese applique work with that of an abstract modernist aesthetic. Yoshida first studied art under Kiyoshi Hayashi before the outbreak of World War II. Selected for training as a kamikaze pilot, Yoshida was extremely lucky to survive his teens. It was under the weight of many such memories, that Yoshida returned to his art. From that point onwards the majority of Yoshida’s work carried the single, most telling of all titles, Sei-Mei - La Vie - Life. In 1964, Yoshida left Japan permanently and moved to Paris, the acknowledged centre of Modernism. This move brought Yoshida’s work into the great movements of the time. He was confronted by the heady shock of the Abstract Expressionists, in particular Rothko and Motherwell, who both employ similarly abstract forms in striving for the transcendent spirituality that characterises Yoshida’s art.

In 1993, Yoshida became the first living artist ever to be given a solo exhibition at the Japanese Galleries of the British Museum, London, UK. October Gallery has shown regular exhibitions of Yoshida’s work since the late 1980s, the most recent being in 2015. His contribution to the exchange of culture between Japan and the West was acknowledged in a special programme broadcast by NHK (the Japanese National Broadcasting Service) in August 2010, timed to coincide with the commemorative services for the cessation of the Pacific War.

‘I paint to tell people about the critical importance of Life and Peace. Life brightens the most when Peace occurs. Peace is supreme beauty.’
Kenji Yoshida

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View below for career highlights and works for sale by the artist.







Born in 1924, Ikeda City, Japan. Died in 2009, Tokyo, Japan.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2016   Yoshida Kenji, Glenn Green Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2015   Kenji Yoshida; Infinite Light, October Gallery, London, UK
2013   Kenji Yoshida; Supreme Beauty, October Gallery, London, UK
2010   Kenji Yoshida; A Celebration of Life, October Gallery, London, UK
2008   Vie Et Paix, UNESCO, Paris, France
2007   Kenji Yoshida: Inochi To Heiwa - Life and Peace, October Gallery, London, UK
2006   Château de Blois, Blois, France
2003   Life Force - New Works By Kenji Yoshida, October Gallery, London, UK
2003   Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, UK
2002   Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, UK
2001   Park Tower Hall, Tokyo, Japan
2001   Galerie Prisma, Bolzano, Italy
2000   Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, Ireland
1998   Museo de Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, Mexico
1998   Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Atenco de Yucatán, Mexico
1997   Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
1993   The British Museum, London, UK
1991   October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
1991   Glenn Green Galleries, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
1989   Kenji Yoshida, October Gallery, London, UK
1989   Château Sonderborg, Sonderborg, Denmark
1983   Art-Houre Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1984   Galerie Galise, Thonon, France
1982   L'Ecole de France, Geneva, Switzerland
1979   Galerie Aujourd’hui, Geneva, Switzerland
1977   Gallerie Point W., Gaillard, France
1977   Galerie L’Estampille, Brussels, Belgium
1976   Fujiyoshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1974   Modern-Art Galerie, Vienna, Austria
1973   Seibu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1972   Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Linz, Austria
1968   The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel
1966   Hammarlund Kunsthandel, Oslo, Norway
1964   Takekawa Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1960   Maramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1959   Maramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1958   Maramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1957   Maramatsu Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2017   Transvangarde 2017, October Gallery, London, UK
2014   35 Years of Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2013   Masters of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
The World of Extraordinary Objects, October Gallery, London, UK
2012   Masters of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2011   Transvangarde Now, October Gallery, London, UK
2009   Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
Selected Collections
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, Belgium
Museum of Modern Art, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Museu de Arte Contemporânea, São Paulo, Brazil
Modern Art Museum, Norrköping, Sweden
American Artists Association, New York, USA
Ministry of Culture, Paris, France
Musée d’art moderne, Haifa, Israel
The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel
Gerber Foundation, California, USA
The Royal Collection of Denmark
The British Museum, London, UK
Museo de Arte abstraccion de Zacatecas, Mexico