(Japan, b. 1920 – Brazil, d. 2001)
Tikashi Fukushima was born in Sōma, a city in the Fukushima Prefecture. In 1940, following Japan’s entry into World War II, he migrated at the age of twenty to Brazil, where he studied painting with the Japanese teacher Tadashi Kaminagai in Rio de Janeiro, later settling in São Paulo. In the 1950s, Fukushima abandoned his early figurative style, which included landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, and joined the ranks of other influential Japanese-Brazilian artists in the collective Seibi-Kai (Grupo de Artistas Plasticos de São Paulo), where he practiced his own informalist style. Fukushima began his artistic career at about the same time as Manabu Mabe, who was also a Japanese-Brazilian informalist; interestingly, both artists worked on coffee plantations in their youth.
Fukushima’s mature work is characterized by energetic brushwork, variegated textures, and shifting color tones. Many of these works contain overlapping planes and gestural strokes that appear to float in a limitless, colored space; others evoke the wind, sea, and land. During the 1970s and 1980s, when his formalism was reaching its peak, Fukushima began to merge elements of the East and the West in his art, infusing his work with the colors of Brazil’s tropical landscape, along with the economy and fluidity of line of Zen Buddhist painting. He exhibited widely in Brazil and the United States throughout his career, and participated in two group exhibitions (1961, 1965) and one solo exhibition (1972) at the Organization of American States.
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