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Toshimitsu Imai is a multi-awarded painter. Born 1928 in Kyoto, Japan, Imai perfected his painting skills at the Tokyo Art Academy. Imai’s works were described as resonant of the Fauves.
After winning the Kansai-Shinseisaku Award and the Best New Artist Prize from the 15th Shinseisaku Salon, he decided to move to Paris, France. Here he studied at the prestigious Sorbone and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, where he was conferred degrees in Philosophy and Medieval History respectively.
From 1953 to 1954, Imai exhibited his works at the renowned Salon de l’Art Sacre. With the influence of art critic Michel Tapie, Imai shifted from representational art to the groundbreaking style that is abstract art.
Imai is touted as being responsible for introducing European Abstract Art to Japan, when decided to visit his homeland together with fellow artists George Mathieu and Sam Francis. In recognition of his contributions to the world of Japanese art, Imai was given the top prize at the 5th Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art held at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
Japan highly influenced Imai’s masterpieces that many Japanese elements can be seen in his portraits. To further support the emerging trend of Japanese Art, Imai founded the Contemporary Japanese Artists’ Association – which is one of his proudest legacies before he passed away in 2002.