Josaku Maeda

1926 – 2007

Josaku Maeda was born in Japan in the province of Toyama in 1936. He graduated from the University of Musashino in Tokyo in 1953 and became a member of the Society of Independent Artists in 1955, the year of his first solo show in Japan. He was awarded first prize at the International Exhibition of Young Artists in 1957, which quickly promoted his career on an international scale. Thanks to a scholarship from the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Japan, he moved to Paris in 1958. He kept company with fellow artists from the Ecole de Paris and strengthened his technique in action painting, stemming from expressionism.

However his first source of inspiration remained nature, particularly from his years in Paris between 1959 and 1962. The titles of his works include Halo du soleil (“Halo of the sun”), Ombre et éclairé célestes (“Celestial shadows and lights”), and Papillon de nuit (“Night butterfly”). In the 1970s, he visited the main countries of the Indian peninsula, such as Nepal and Tibet and Southeast Asia, fascinated by the iconography associated with the Mandala, both sacred and transcendental.

Maeda wrote many works on the subject and taught at Howard University in Washington DC. At the end of the 1970s, his work turned towards a linear and organically inspired iconography; where embryonic universes and spiralling dust cloud segments appear in his canvases. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 81 years.


– 1959 Galerie Lambert, Paris, France
– 1960 Galerie Galatea, Paris, France
– 1961 Galerie Lambert, Paris, France
– 1963 Tolyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
– 1965 Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, France
– 1972 Tokyo Central Museum of Arts, Tokyo, Japan


– 1959 Biennale de Paris, Paris, France
– 1965 « Nine Janapese artists », Staempfli Gallery, New York, USA
– 1968 Triennale de New Delhi, New Delhi, Inde
– 2012 « Tokyo 1955 -1970 A New Avant-Garde » The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

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