Abstract sculptor and painter Masatoyo Kishi, best known for mixing elements of traditional Japanese culture with Western abstraction, died in Grass Valley, California, at the age of ninety-three.
From the late 1950's to the 1960's, he created his Opus paintings, which feature softly dripped pigments and sweeping brushwork. Using large brushes, Kishi painted his works by laying canvases horizontally and using wooden sticks to drip paint onto them, which he said created “an orderly conversation between me and the canvas.” The works reflect the artist’s interests in Zen Buddhism, Taoism, seventeenth-century Japanese architecture, and Western classical music. In 1960, Kishi moved from Japan to San Francisco, where he lived until 1988. Over the course of nearly thirty years there, he transitioned from primarily painting to sculpting. He taught at Holy Names College in Oakland and the Dominican College in San Rafael.
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