Kumi Sugai (1919-1996)
Gouache and graphite on paper, in the original frame
Painting: 22.5 x 35 cm (9 x 14 in)
Frame: 46 x 58 cm (18¼ x 23 in)
Signed: Kumi and SUGAÏ
Provenance: Collection of Hecker Jensen, Basel, Switzerland
Casa del Negromante, Locarno, Switzerland, 1954, no. 5
Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany, 12 September – 20 October 1963, no. 50
Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover, Kumi Sugaï, exhibition catalogue, (Germany, 1963), no. 50
Kumi Sugai was one of the leading Japanese artists of western style painting in the post-war period. Born in Kobe, Sugai studied at the Osaka School of Fine Arts from 1933. He practised calligraphy, was fascinated by typography, and also studied nihonga (Japanese style painting) under Nakamura Teii (1900-1982).
In 1952 Sugai moved to Paris where he entered the artistic circles of École de Paris and the Nouveau Réalisme. The quality of his work was soon recognised by European galleries and in 1954 he held solo-shows in Paris and Brussels with great success and later showed at numerous international shows, galleries and museums including Kootz Gallery, New York, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, and Venice Biennale.