Masatoyo Kishi Biography

Masatoyo Kishi




Painter, printmaker, and sculptor Masatoyo Kishi was born in Sakai, Japan, on March 11, 1924. Kishi graduated from the Tokyo University of Science in 1953 with degrees in pysics and mathematics, pursuing painting on his own time. 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." He was greatly influenced by Taoism, Buddhism, and 17th century Japanese folk art.

In 1960 Kishi moved from Japan to San Francisco, having established ties with museums and galleries in the Bay Area while still living in Japan. He exhibited throughout the Bay Area and the U.S., and began his concurrent teaching career, first at Holy Names College in Oakland and then Dominican College in San Rafael. Beginning in the 1970s Kishi's focus switched to sculpture, and by the mid '70s he was working almost exclusively in the three dimensional medium. In 1998, he relocated to Grass Valley, California, where he lived and worked until his death in 2017.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1956: Yamada Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
1961: Thibaut Gallery, New York, NY
1963, '65: Bolles Gallery, San Francsisco, CA; Annual Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Art
1964: 5th Winter Invitational, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
1967: Comtemporary American Painting and Sculpture, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne, IL
1972: John Bolles Collection, Oakland Museum, CA
1984: Mary Porter Senson Art Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1960: City Art Museum, Kyoto, Japan; Ginza Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1961: International Exhibition, CArnegie Institute, Pittsburg, PA
1973: Japanese Artists in America, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
1997: Asia Traditions, Modern Expressions: Asian American Artists and Abstraction, 1945 - 1979, Jane Voorhees, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, NJ

Selected Collections:
The Oakland Museum of California; Stanford University Museum of Art; Stanford Art Gallery, Palo Alto; Barlow Building, Washington, D.C.; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; State University College at Potsdam, NY; Guilford College, Greensboro, NC