Toshimitsu Imai - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Japan

  • Catalogue Essay

    By the early 1950s Imai was one of the most promising artists in Japan. He moved to Paris in 1952 and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Sorbonne to study medieval history and philosophy. He immediately became part of the dynamic international art scene in Paris and befriended Sam Francis, who introduced him to the critic and dealer Michel Tapié in 1955. In 1956 Imai was assigned by the artist Taro Okamoto, another key figure in postwar Japanese art, to help organize an exhibition to present avant-garde art to a Japanese audience. The exhibition was entitled Sekai: Konnichi no bijutsu (The World: Today’s Art) and became the first instance in which actual works by artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, and Karel Appel, reached Japanese soil. As seen in Work, Imai’s paintings are characterized by his passionate experimentation with the material of paint and the realm of the subconscious as visualized in the artist’s gestural engagement with the canvas. His unique sense of color and his ability to evoke an expanding space through flying paints spreading like a spider web draw the viewer closer.



enamel on paper
31 1/4 x 43 1/8 in. (79.4 x 109.5 cm)
Signed lower right and dated "Imai '64." Further signed, dated and inscribed "1997 1964年作品 紙にアルキコート東京で制作 (フタル酸樹脂塗料) [1997, this work was made in 1964 in Tokyo] IMAI俊 [Toshi] Tokyo le 16 June 小生の作品に間違いない事を証明します 今井俊満 [I hereby certify that this is indeed a work that I have made Imai Toshimitsu]" on the reverse.

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $56,250

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 November 2015 11am