Saito, Kiyoshi (Japanese 1907-1997)
Kiyoshi Saito was born in the Fukushima prefecture in 1907. His artistic career began around 1924 when he made a successful business of designing storefronts. He then moved to Tokyo in 1932 to study at the Hongo Painting Institute where he studied Western-style painting. During that time be began experimenting with woodblock (Hanga) printing which eventually became his primary medium. His first well known series was, "Winter in Aizu," depicting various scenes in of where he lived as a child.
The notoriety of this series allowed him to gain membership in the Nihon Hanga Kyokai (Japanese Woodblock Association). After World War II, Saito began exhibiting internationally including at the Salon Printemps in 1948 and at the inaugural Sao Paolo Bienniale 1951 where he received first prize for one of his entries. He continued exhibiting and printmaking well into his eighties. He died in 1997. His subject matter ranged from animals, to Buddhist subjects, landscapes, and architecture. His later work became more minimal with influences of Piet Mondrian.
Saito's prints became areas of flat color with visible wood grain from the block, incorporating elements of modernism with nature. Saito's work is held in several public and private collections including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Miami Art Museum and the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, San Francisco; Art Institute of Chicago; Cincinnati Museum of Art; Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art; and the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum. He also had a major retrospective of his work in Tokyo at the Wako Department Store.

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