Hisao Domoto


Picture Hisao Domoto

Born on Kyoto in a family of artists and connoisseurs. His father collected traditional Japanese ceramics, calligraphy and painting, and his uncle, the painter Domoto Insho (1891-1975), won the Order of Cultural Merit in 1961.
Domoto began painting in 1942 when he entered the high school annex of Kyoto's School of Fine Arts. His studies there were interrupted when he spent three years as a factory worker to support the war effort. He resumed his education in classical Japanese painting from 1945-49. In 1948 he was admitted to the Nitten and won that cultural group's grand prize for painting in 1951 and 1953. In 1952 he traveled with his uncle to Italy, France and Spain and in 1954 he moved to Paris where he lived until returning to Japan in 1965. In 1956 his work was included in the Salon de Mai exhibition. During his years in Paris Domoto met many artists influential in the modern movement including Sugai Kumi, Sato Key, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, and Isamu Noguchi.
In 1957 Domoto was in an exhibition organized by the French art critic Michael Tapie entitled L'art mondial contemporain a Tokyo and Domoto introduced Tapie to the Gutai movement at this time. His first one-man show, also in 1957, was held at the Galerie Stadler in Paris. He became involved with the Informel movement, a group of European artists with concerns similar to those of the Gutai in Japan, namely a conviction that in painting the substance and physicality of paint itself conveys energy and meaning. In 1958 Domoto was in an exhibition of Informel and Gutai artists called The International Art of a New Era: USA, Japan, Europe held at the Osaka International Art Festival. The same year he collaborated on a special issue of the Gutai review entitled "L'Aventure Informelle". He spent December 1958 and January 1959 in New York where he met many artists including Jasper Johns (b. 1930) and Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) through Inokuma Genichiro (1902-1993).
Domoto has had many one-person exhibitions including those at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York in 1959, 1967 and 1971, at Minami Gallery in Tokyo in 1960, 1968, 1972, 1975 and 1978, and at Galerie Stadler in Paris in 1957, 1959 and 1962. In 1979 a one-man exhibition of his work entitled Hisao Domoto was held at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, in 1980 at the Fuji Television Gallery in Tokyo, in 1981 at Gallery Kasahara in Osaka, and in 1983 at Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo. He had a restrospective exhibition in 1987 at Tokyo's Ikebukuro Seibu Museum.
Among his numerous international group shows are the Paris Biennial in 1959, the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1961, the Carnegie International Exhibitions in Pittsburgh in 1961 and 1967, and The New Japanese Painting and Sculpture an exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York that traveled throughout the United States. In 1968 his work was included in Mutual Influences between Japanese and Western Arts organized by the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and in 1972 and 1975 he was in Panorama of Contemporary Japanese Art exhibitions organized by the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto and the Seibu Museum in Tokyo, respectively. In 1974 his work was included in Japan - Tradition und Gegenwart at the Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, and in 1978 he was in Japanese Painters and France--the School of Paris and the Informel sponsored by the National Museum of Modern Art in Osaka.
Domoto has received many prizes for his work including those of the Nitten mentioned earlier, the XI Premio Lissone in Turin 1959, the 4th Mainichi Contemporary Japanese Art Exhibition in 1960, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the San Marco Biennale in 1963, and the Venice Biennale in 1964.

For the latest exhibitions of the artist, please see the Appointments' Archive