Product Description

7386     Toko Shinoda (1913-2021)

sakuhin (work)

ink and colour on silver leaf

signed To to lower right

H. 17¾” x W. 12″ (45cm x 30cm)

accompanied by a certificate of registration from Shinoda Toko Kantei Iinkai (Toko Shinoda Appraisal Committee) No.STK16-022

Toko Shinoda (1913-2021) was born in Manchuria and moved with her family to Tokyo in 1914. Her father was a keen calligrapher and his interest encouraged Shinoda to practise calligraphy from the age of six years old. By her early twenties she was an independent calligraphy teacher and against her father’s wishes decided not to marry but to pursue a career as an artist instead.

Shinoda had her first solo calligraphy exhibition in 1936 at Kyukyodo Gallery, Tokyo, and by 1945 she was producing work which departed significantly from the rigid forms of traditional brushwork. Following numerous solo exhibitions of calligraphy her work started to change and in her early forties the focus moved to compositions consisting mainly of thin freely applied brushstrokes. Having a strong-willed character and a desire to develop her creativity beyond the limitations of classical calligraphy and its restrains, Shinoda decided to break away and begun to produce abstract works using traditional materials. This development received severe criticism from the established calligraphy circles of Japan, however her work was recognised by major international art institutions and she was included in two exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1953 and 1954 respectively.

In 1956 Shinoda moved to New York where she would be free to further develop her artistic expression and mingle with people who believed in and supported her work such as the painter Franz Kline (1910-1962) and long-term dealer and friend Norman Tolman. At this time Abstract Expressionism was at the forefront of the American art scene giving the artist a rich source of inspiration and development possibilities.

Having established herself internationally Shinoda returned to Japan in 1958 with a renewed confidence enabling her to develop further and to begin using bolder and thicker brushstrokes alluding to the strength of Abstract Expressionism. In 1960 following the advice of fellow artist and printmaker Arthur Flory (1914-1972) Shinoda added another facet to her oeuvre and began to produce lithographs, a medium which she conquered with ease. Having reached a mature and distinctive style she continued to use traditional black and vermillion sumi (ink) in her paintings composed of thick and thin elegant brushstrokes often adorned with calligraphy on a surface of canvas, paper or silver leaf.

A true intellectual Shinoda developed her trademark tool; a long, thin brush. In this tailor-made brush, with a handle longer and slimmer than usual and with extra-long bristles, Shinoda found a tool which easily facilitates the circulation of energy between her hand and the painted surface. The longer brush enables more delicate uninterrupted movements which according to the artist make her feel like a white witch using her magic wand.

In 1962 she was commissioned to design the theatre curtain and ceramic relief for the foyer of Nichinan Cultural Centre at Miyazaki and later she created a mural for the Yoyogi National Stadium built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In 1974 she completed another significant and innovative commission to paint the fusuma (sliding doors) of Zōzōji temple, Tokyo and in 1993 she gained a commission for the new Imperial Palace Residence, Tokyo.

Shinoda continues to work to this day and claims the varying juxtaposed brushstrokes represent the diversity of her character, expressing both her tender and dynamic elements. Still relevant today and open to personal interpretation her work is a lyrical inspiration to many giving it a wide global appeal.

Every morning, I pick up a brush and do some work, even just a little bit. Without it, I wouldn’t feel quite alive, or I wouldn’t feel like I should be living without doing some work. You could say it’s a sense of responsibility. It’s the proof that I am alive.

Toko Shinoda

Works by the artist can be found in the collections of: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; British Museum, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Cincinnati Museum, Ohio; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, the Netherlands; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; Museum Fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Rijksmuseum Kröller – Müller, Otterlo, The Netherlands; Singapore Art Museum; Smith College Museum of Art, Massachusetts; Smithsonian Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel; Gifu Collection of Modern Art; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Hokkaido Prefectural Museum of Hakodate; Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu; Museum of Modern Art, Toyama; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Toko Shinoda Art Space, Seki City, Gifu; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

1953   Japanese Architecture and Calligraphy, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1954   Japanese Contemporary Calligraphy, Museum of Modern Art, New York

1955 Contemporary Japanese Calligraphy – Art Sumi, National Museum of  Modern Art, Tokyo

            Abstract Art Exhibition – Japan and USA, National Museum of  Modern Art, Tokyo

1958  Development of Japanese Abstract Painting Exhibition, National Museum of  Modern Art, Tokyo

1959 Hakuin, Shiko Munakata, Toko Shinoda and Nankoku Hidai Exhibition, Rijksmuseum Kröller- Müller, Otterlo

1961 6th Sao Paulo Biennale

           Pittsburgh International Exhibition of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Carnegie Art Institute

          Japanese Contemporary Painting, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin

1962  Paintings and Sculpture in Modern Japan, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

1971 10 Artist- Exhibition – Dubuffet, Hartung, De Kooning, Millares, Miro, Picasso, Shinoda, Soulages, Tapies, Zao Wou-ki, Royal Dublin Society, Ireland

1973 Development of Postwar Japanese Art-Abstract and Non-Figurative, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

1979 Okada, Shinoda, Tsutaka – Three Pioneers of Abstract Painting in 20th century Japan, The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.

1984 Ancient Visions through Modern Eyes – Paintings and Prints by Toko Shinoda, sculpture by Elizabeth de Cuevas, the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut

1989 Painting and Writing: Lettering to be Painted – Painting to be Written, Hakodate Museum of Art, Hokkaido

1990  Japanese Art, Retretti Art Centre, Finland

1992  Calligraphy and Painting, the Passionate Age: 1945- 1969, O Art Museum, Tokyo

1994  Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art (Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, San Fransisco)

1996  Retrospective Exhibition, Singapore Art Museum

1995  Tracks of Japanese Postwar Art, Meguro Museum of Art, Tokyo

2009 Japanese Femininity – Shinoda, Iwami, Matsubara, Oda and Shiomi, Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki

2015  Breaking Barriers – Japanese Women Print Artists 1050-2000, Portland Art Museum, Oregon

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

1936   Kyukyodo Gallery, Tokyo

1956   Yoseido Gallery, Tokyo

           Swetzoff Gallery, Boston

1957   Bertha Schaefer’s Gallery, New York

           Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati

           Art Institute of Chicago

           Japan Club of New York

           Galerie La Hune, Paris

1958   Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington G.C.

1959   Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

1965   Betty Parsons Gallery, New York

1971  Betty Parsons Gallery, New York

1976  The Tolman Collection, Tokyo

1977  Betty Parsons Gallery, New York

1980  Creation- Tradition, Zōzōji temple, Tokyo

1982  Silver and Black, Galerie Tokoro, Tokyo

1986  Toko Shinoda – Drawings, Galerie 412, Tokyo

1988  Toko Shinoda – Lithographs, Yoseido Reflection Gallery, Tokyo

1989  Seibu Museum at Art Forum, Tokyo

1990 Retrospective Exhibition of Prints and Paintings, The Tolman Collection, Tokyo

          Art Forum, Singapore

          Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong

          Robyn Buntin of Honolulu, Hawaii

1992  Galerie Humanite, Nagoya 2, Nagoya

          Toko Shinoda Retrospective, Museum of Fine Arts, Gifu

1996 The Visual POetry of Toko Shinoda, Singapore Art Museum

1997  Kamakura Gallery, Tokyo

1998  Annely Juda Fine Art, London

2001  Sogetsu Kaikan, Tokyo

          Beyond Boundaries, Ebisu Garden Place, Tokyo

          Art Salon Kogen, Nagoya

2003  Variations of Vermillion, Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo

2009  Lan Club, Beijing

2012  Guided by the Brushes, The Tolman Collection, New York

2013  Shinoda Toko 100 Years, Museum of Modern Art, Gifu

         Trailblazer, Japan Society, New York

         Toko Shinoda – A Lifetime of Accomplishment, Musee Tomo, Tokyo

2014  A Lifetime of Accomplishment, Club 21 Gallery, Singapore

2015  The Tolman Collection’s 103 Views of Toko Shinoda, Conrad Tokyo

2016  Memorial Exhibition at KITTE, Nagoya. A commemorative set of stamps   was published by KITTE

Cultural Awards:

1979 27th Japan Essayists’ Club Prize for Sumi iro (colour of ink)