Toko Shinoda, Beyond. Lithograph with hand-painting. Number 43 of a small limited edition of 55. Titled, signed and numbered by the artist in pencil. 15 inches x 11 inches. In the lower left-hand corner of the sheet is the embossed stamp, “Printed by Kimura.” Fine condition.
Toko Shinoda (1913 – 2021) was one of Japan’s Living National Treasures. Conveying a sense of Japan in visual terms, Shinoda combined her characteristic black and white ink brush strokes with lithography, juxtaposing her abstract calligraphy onto the subtle shadings of a lithograph. Her art echos that of Fritz Kline and Pierre Soulages. Born in Manchuria, Toko Shinoda said in an interview for Time, August 1, 1983, “People born in foreign places are very free in their thinking, not restricted.” She attributes her mother’s assertive personality as a seminal influence. Studying calligraphy from the age of six, Shinoda dutifully copied and memorized the accepted models. Her father’s insistence that she learn calligraphy opened to her one of the few fields open to women, which included onnade – women’s writing. Using the calligraphic symbol for a noun, she added more lines to better create a more forceful impression of the place described by a name. Toko Shinoda’s work is found at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Israeli Haifa Japanese Art Museum, the Hague National Museum and at the Art Institute of Chicago.