Kikuo Saito

James Barron Art is pleased to present three rare late paintings by Kikuo Saito. Within the last decade of Saito’s long career, before the artist’s death in 2016, Saito produced a remarkable body of work that is widely considered the epitome of his artistic production.

Saito, who was born in Japan, worked in both painting and dance and performance before moving to New York in 1966, at age 27. Shortly after his move to New York, Saito also became a studio assistant for Kenneth Noland, and later for Helen Frankenthaler and Larry Poons. The color field works of these artists informed Saito’s paintings, which incorporate a rich palette.

Saito’s background in choreography and dance influenced both his painterly style and his working method, which often involved dancing around the canvas and gestural movements. Saito captured these gestural elements on his canvases. Art historian Karen Wilkin described the unique vocabulary of Saito’s works: “They insist that we acknowledge the presence of the painter and the action of his hand in disposing the scrawls and patches of color across the canvas… Each canvas has its own calligraphic character and rhythms.”

Wilkin also said, “The marks in his paintings, now floating, now gathering in conversational groups, now purposefully traversing the canvas, have become eloquent signs, carriers not only of the complex colors with which Saito builds his paintings, but also of deep feeling and energy. It's not an overstatement to say these poetic, energetic works are among Saito's best.”



For inquiries about these works, please contact James Barron:
+1 917 270 8044