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SHIMIZU Toshi (1887-1945)
1924, 116.5 x 81.5cm, Oil on canvas
Shimizu Toshi was born in Tochigi Prefecture. In an age when studying in France was the standard course for becoming a Western style painter, Shimizu went to the U.S.A. at the age of 20. Two things that most Japanese who became painters in America have in common is that they received their instruction in painting in the U.S.A. and that they are people who earned their own living while they studied. For the first several years after moving to America, Shimizu worked in a number of places to earn money before entering a painting studio in Seattle. At the age of 30 he moved to New York, where he studied at the Art Students' League. While there, he made life in the city the main theme of his paintings.
After earning a name for himself as a painter in America, Shimizu ended his 17-year stay in that country and moved with his wife to France in 1924, residing in Europe for three years before returning to Japan. In this painting, A Subway Station, we see new developments in the geometrical handling of the walls in the background and the sense of volume in the figures in the foreground, but the theme of a moment of life in the city remains unchanged.