Kaoru Yamaguchi was born 1909 in Minowa, a village at the foot of Mt. Haruna in Gunma Prefecture, as the youngest among 11 siblings. Growing up in an area blessed with plenty of nature, Yamaguchi enjoyed painting and drawing already as a child. He graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1930 and afterwards lived in France for about three years. After his return to Japan, Yamaguchi and fellow artists Masanari Murai and Rokuro Yabashi (whom Yamaguchi knew from his time in Europe) organized the Western Painting for a New Era exhibition, the Association for Modern Art’s exhibition, and similar events. Through this activity, Yamaguchi became one of the central figures in Japanese modern art.

Yamaguchi’s works melt together abstract and representational art, with an added layer of poetic sentiment that contributes to the whimsical and sometimes dreamlike quality of his imaginary landscapes and sceneries. He participated in the Sao Paolo Biennale and the Venice Biennale, garnering praise on the international stage as well as in Japan. In 1958, he won the Guggenheim Price, in 1959 the Mainichi Art Award, and in 1960 the Award of the Minister of Education. Since 1962, Yamaguchi taught at Tokyo University of the Arts, contributing to the education of a new generation of artists until his passing in 1968.


"Moon in Midday and Horses"

Ed. 100


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