Masatoyo Kishi, California Abstract Painter and Sculptor, Dies at 93

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hackett Mill announces that Masatoyo Kishi, the abstract painter and sculptor, died recently in Grass Valley, California. He was 94. Born in Sakai, Japan on March 11, 1924, Kishi graduated from Tokyo University of Science in 1953 with degrees in Physics and Mathematics.

After a short career as a mathematics teacher, Kishi began exhibiting with Tekkei Kai, a group of abstract painters affiliated with the Kyoto Museum of Art. He said, "As a Japanese artist in the 1950s in Tokyo, I didn't go to art school. Japanese artists studied literature, economics, science; then you explored art."

In 1960 Kishi moved from Japan to San Francisco where he lived until 1988. His Opus paintings from the late 1950s-60s are notable for their sweeping calligraphic brushwork and delicately dripped pigment.

Decades in the Making, a Rotating Show, Highlights The New Hackett Mill Gallery

Kishi painted in the traditional Japanese manner with canvases lying in horizontal orientation, the larger ones placed directly on the floor. In addition to working with large brushes, Kishi often used wooden sticks to drip the paint onto the canvas and explained, "What develops from this method is an orderly conversation between me and the canvas. I respond to each change taking place."


Masatoyo Kishi, (L) Opus No. 60-145, oil on canvas, 1960, 48 x 48 inches, framed dimensions: 50 x 50 inches

The Opus series reflects a variety of interests including Zen Buddhism, Taoism, 17th-century Japanese architecture and Western classical music. By the 1970s Kishi abandoned painting and devoted his practice to abstract sculpture.

"Kishi's paintings inspire a sense of chaos and awe. To look at a Kishi painting is to accept a challenge of sorts, one where you find yourself completely immersed in the rhythm of the paint as you try to trace the artist's hand not to learn how or why he painted in this way but rather to gain access to the lyrical complexity that resulted from it." Jessica Phillips, Director, Hackett Mill.

Montague Gallery, a San Francisco Contemporary Fine Art House, Presents PRIMA VISTA by Lino Tagliapietra

Kishi's paintings were regularly exhibited in the Bay Area and other national institutions, including, Palace of the Legion of Honor, de Young Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art, Richmond Art Center, Oakland Museum of California, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, NJ; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, among others. Kishi also showed with the Bolles Gallery and taught at Holy Names College in Oakland (1965-1966) and Dominican College in San Rafael (1964-1974). Hackett Mill has been working with Masatoyo Kishi since 2007.

Mr. Kishi's work will be on view with Hackett Mill at EXPO Chicago September 13-17.  


Haute Tease

  • AFI FEST 2017 Presented By Audi Announces Dan Gilroy's Roman J. Israel, Esq. As Special Screening

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The American Film Institute (AFI) today announced that the final version of ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. has been added to the festival's lineup and will screen in the Special Screenings section on Wednesday, November 15, at the TCL Chinese Theatre.  

  • The Academy and Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry Revive The Art Of OSCAR® Statuettes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Academy announced today that Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry, based in Rock Tavern, New York, will exclusively create its iconic Oscar® statuettes, starting with the 88th Academy Awards®.  In a process that returns to the Oscar's fine art roots, the statuettes will now be hand-cast in bronze before receiving its 24-karat gold finish.  

  • Glenn Weiss Returns as Oscars® Director

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Show producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd announced today that Glenn Weiss will return as Oscars® director, his second consecutive year. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.  

  • 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards To Stream Live On Facebook Watch

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Today, Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards, and IFC announced, in partnership with Facebook, that the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards will be live streamed on Facebook Watch.  

  • Join Rory Culkin and RJ Mitte Announced as Special Guests at the 7th Annual Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The largest edition of ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival in the festival’s history has just added two more names to its celebrated guest speakers, panelist, and supporter schedule. Opening night, March 12, 2015, at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum will include a performance by The Voice Season 7's Blessing Offor.

  • People Exclusive: Police Recover Body of Missing Alabama Teen Who Called Mother to Say Someone Was Trying to Kill Him

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    EXCLUSIVE REPRINT (NEW YORK) – Police have found the body of a 19-year-old Alabama boy who went missing Saturday after telling his mother by phone that someone was trying to kill him.

  • HL London: A Preview of Emerging Artists from The London Scene

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Fall 2015 showcases the abundance of talent on the London Scene with drop dates and gigs from ILana J and her cheery pop anthem, England, to the gritty sounds of Angeline, post punk rock Zurich, Rent & Debt Records Skellums, and  indie band The Train Set