Minoru Kawabata

Minoru Kawabata (b. 1911 – d. 2001) born in Tokyo, Kawabata studied at the Tokyo Academy of Fine Arts in the Painting Department, graduating from the course in 1934. From 1937 – 1939 he studied and traveled throughout Paris and Italy before returning to Tokyo in 1940 to have his first solo show at the Mitsukoshi Gallery. During the early to mid 1950s, Kawabata taught at Tama University of Fine Arts in Tokyo where he also co-founded the artists’ group, Skinseisaku Kyokai (the New Creation Society). In 1958 he moved to New York City where he began teaching at The New School where he was a member of the faculty until 1985.


Soon after moving to New York City, Kawabata and his work became affiliated with the New York School of Abstract Expressionism as well as Color Field painting. Kawabata’s practice incorporates the use of strong brush strokes and bold colors which evoke a vibrant movement and energy from his abstract subjects. In 1960 Kawabata had his first solo exhibition in the United States at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City. His work was also featured in prestigious venues such as the 1958 Guggenheim International Award exhibition (1958), the Japanese Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (1962), and in two exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture (1966-67), and Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde (2012-13).


Kawabata’s work can be found in collections throughout the United States and abroad including, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Museo Premio Lissone, Milan, Italy; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Tama University of Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan; Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan.