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Chizuko Yoshida (née Inoue) was a modern Japanese oil painter and printmaker. From naturalism to surrealism to abstraction, her career is defined by constant artistic exploration. Inspired by her travels around the world, Yoshida experimented with scale, surface texture, optical illusion and even collage over the course of her career. Born in 1924, Yoshida studied under painter and printmaker Fumio Kitaoka before pursuing design at Hongo Art institute in 1941. During WWII, she evacuated Tokyo to Aoyama. Following the end of the war and her return to Tokyo, Yoshida joined Taro Okamoto’s seminar Century Society in 1949, where she was introduced to the artists, writers and theorist of Japan’s avant-garde. During this time, she became intrigued by the relationship between Western modernism and Japanese aesthetics, a theme that she would continue to explore throughout her career. Yoshida was active in professional art soceities. She belonged to both Pacific Painting Society and the Vermilion Leaf Society. At the former, she met her husband, Hodaka Yoshida (son of the Shin Hanga artist Hiroshi Yoshida). The couple married in 1953 and had two children - Ayomi, who would become a printmaker, and Takasuke, a would become a jewelry artist.
In the 1950s, Chizuko Yoshida turned her focus from oil painting to woodblock printing. She co-founded the Women’s Printmakers Association in 1956. She regularly participated in the College Women’s Association of Japan (CWAJ), as well as numerous other exhibitions in Japan and beyond. She died in Yokohama in 2017. Her work can be found in collections such as the British Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Yokohama Museum of Art, to name just a few. Recently her work was featured in the Portland Museum of Art’s 2015 exhibition Breaking Barriers: Japanese Women Print Artists 1950–2000.
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