A modernist sculpture in bronze on a wooden base by pioneering female artist Katsura Yuki (also Yukiko 1913-1991). The humorous figure is reminiscent of the works of Okamoto Taro and Akutagawa Saori, another pioneering female artist from Japan who lived in New York around the same time as Yuki. The image is 10 inches (26 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Katsura Yuki (1913-1991) was a Japanese artist whose career spanned from the prewar to the postwar eras. She was enrolled in a girl’s school in 1926, during which time she studied traditional Japanese painting (Nihonga) under Ikegami Shuho. However, after graduation she moved into oil painting. Still, dissatisfied with academic modes of painterly study, she began to attend the Avant-garde Western Painting Research Institute led by Seiji Togo and Tsuguharu Foujita from 1933. She held her first solo exhibition in the Ginza district of Tokyo in 1935, with a focus on collage and abstraction and characterization. This was an extreme rarity for a female artist at the time. She fell in with the Nikakai in 1938, where she would interact with post-war giants Takeo Yamaguchi and Yoshihara Jiro. Post-war, She worked as an illustrator while continuing along the narrative path her art had taken. After sojourns in Europe and Africa, she moved to New York in 1958. In 1966 after returning to Japan, Katsura received the Highest Award at the “7th Contemporary Japanese Art Exhibition. During her six-decade career, Katsura did not conform to one particular artistic genre or style, instead employing a variety of approaches including painting, mixed media collage, and caricature to depict a range of subjects using folkloric allegory, religious iconography, realism, and experiments into abstraction. Constantly paving the path towards a new means of expression through employing techniques of collage. Katsura engaged with subjects that responded to critical socio-political events in mid-century Japan, such as societal expectations for Japanese women, the militarization of Japan, the post-war occupation, the rise of nuclear power, and gender equality. Her diverse approaches, engagement with critical issues, and adherence to personal autonomy gained her critical acclaim; she has been called a "pioneer among women artists,"and is considered influential to the genesis of the Japanese avant-garde before and after the Asia Pacific War. Work by her is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, The Ohara Museum of Art, The Itabashi Art Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and the Yokohama Museum of Art among others.