Hideko Fukushima


Hideko Fukushima, ‘Arc 8’ 1963
Arc 8 1963
© Estate of Hideko Fukushima; courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
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Hideko Fukushima ( 福島秀子, Fukushima Hideko; 1927 – July 2, 1997), born Aiko Fukushima, was a Japanese avant-garde painter born in the Nogizaka neighborhood of Tokyo. She was known as both a founding member of the Tokyo-based postwar avant-garde artist collective Jikken Kōbō and as a talented painter infamously recruited into Art Informel circles by the critic Michel Tapié during his 1957 trip to Japan. As a member of Jikken Kōbō she not only participated in art exhibitions, but also designed visuals for slide shows and costumes and set pieces for dances, theatrical performances, and recitals. She contributed to the postwar push that challenged both the boundaries between media and the nature of artistic collaboration, culminating in the intermedia experiments of Expo '70.

Fukushima was well-recognized as an avant-garde painter in the 1950s and early 1960s despite never having received formal training. With the support of such figures as Nobuya Abe and Shūzō Takiguchi, she experimented with abstract, cubist, constructivist, and surrealist forms, charting a trajectory from experiments with figurative and facial forms to produce process-based paintings featuring the technique of “stamping” (捺す). It was her works featuring pressed circles and lines that caught the eye of Michel Tapié, and which were featured in various European exhibitions in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Now her work is held in the collections of the Tate Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, and the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, among others.

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