Fumio Kitaoka is one of the most versatile Japanese artists of the twentieth century. He covers a wide span of different styles from realistic to abstract, from black and white to strong colors. And he used different techniques - traditional Japanese woodcut and European wood engraving.
Fumio Kitaoka was born in Tokyo where he studied at the Tokyo School of Fine Arts - printmaking and oil painting. One of his teachers was Hiratsuka Unichi. During his art training he experienced a lot of different styles - from traditional Japanese printmaking to Western painting.
In 1955 Kitaoka went to Paris to study wood engraving at the famous Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts Francaise - the French National School of Fine Arts. He stayed in Paris until 1956.
Ten years later the next landmark in the career of the artist was the United States. But now he had changed places. He taught printmaking at the Minneapolis Museum School of Art from 1964 to 1965 and at the Pratt Graphic Arts Center in New York.
Kitaoka Fumio exhibited in International biennales in Asia, America and Europe. His woodcuts are to be found in major collections of such great museums like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada, "Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975", published by University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, ISBN 0-8248-1732-X.
Author: Dieter Wanczura