Rabbit House 68×37cm Lithograph by Masuo Ikeda
Masuo Ikeda has various titles, including printmaker, painter, illustrator, sculptor, Akutagawa Prize-winning author, essayist, ukiyo-e researcher, scriptwriter, film director, TV personality, and ceramic artist. He attracted attention for his avant-garde expressions and was active in a wide range of fields in the latter half of the 20th century.
His lithographs focus on abstract expressions and develop a unique charm.
He is recognized around the world as an international printmaker, winning the grand prize at the Venice Biennale, and becoming the first Japanese artist to hold a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is still one of the artists loved by many people. .
Born in 1934 in Mukden City, former Manchukuo Province (currently Shenyang City), grew up in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture after the war.
Graduated from part-time courses at Nagano City Yanagimachi Junior High School and Nagano Kita High School (now Nagano Prefecture Nagano High School) While still in high school, his painting was accepted and he moved to Tokyo with the aim of becoming a painter, but after failing the Tokyo University of the Arts entrance exam twice, he entered the University of the Arts. He gave up on this and entered Waseda University.While attending Waseda University, he married the daughter of his boarding house, and while attending school, he continued to earn a living by drawing portraits at bars.
At the age of 19, the work he exhibited was selected for the Jiyu Artist Association Exhibition, and after that, he started making colored copperplate prints at the recommendation of the painter Ei Kyu. Around this time, he published a series of miniature books from Shinjusha, which was headed by Sota Hirai.
1960: Received the Minister of Education Prize at the Tokyo International Print Biennale Exhibition.
1961 First solo exhibition at Shinobazu Gallery, Ueno
1965 Held the first solo exhibition as a Japanese person at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In 1966, at the age of 32, he won the International Grand Prize in the print category at the Venice Biennale Exhibition, the most prestigious printmaker after Shiko Munakata, and after that he began to develop an interest in watercolors and literature.
1977 Won the Akutagawa Prize for “Dedicated to the Aegean Sea”
Since the 1980s, he has been actively appearing on TV, and as a semi-regular on the popular quiz show Hitachi World Mystery Discovery!, he has become well-known to the general public and is active as a cultural figure.
1965: First visit to the United States. Exchange with Peter Vokos, a leading figure in the American ceramics world. After returning to Japan, he devoted himself to ceramics in 1983 (Ikeda's works in the Heart Sutra series, created three years before his death, It is said to be the greatest masterpiece of all.He depicted the spiritual world of the Heart Sutra in three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional forms.His works of Jizo and Buddhist pagodas are completely different from the image of Ikeda's prints, who were said to be artists of Eros. Ikeda's ceramic works are characterized by intentionally creating them in a way that makes them break, which Ikeda himself describes as an ``aesthetics of destruction.'')
On March 8, 1997, while at home in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture, he encountered an earthquake, was jumped by his beloved dog, collapsed into a coma, and suddenly passed away from heart failure at the age of 63.
The main collections are the Masuo Ikeda Museum in Nagano City, the Paramita Museum in Komono-cho, Mie-gun, Mie Prefecture, the Masuo Ikeda and Yoko Sato Creation House in Atami City, and the Masuo Ikeda Memorial Museum in Kyoto City, respectively. The National Museum of Modern Art has prints donated by Yoko Sato.The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nagano Prefectural Museum of Art have collections of Ikeda's works.