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Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism in Post-War Los Angeles

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Matsumi “Mike” Kanemitsu

Matsumi "Mike" Kanemitsu (1922-1992) was born in Utah but raised by his grandparents in Japan until he was 16, when he returned to the U.S. He spent five years in the military during World War II, serving in Europe and spending time studying with artists in France after his discharge. He then returned to New York where he joined a circle of painters who included Mark Rothko and Franz Kline. Kanemitsu developed a style that integrated his training in Japanese ink painting with modernist abstraction. After a decade in New York, he came to Los Angeles in 1961 on the invitation of June Wayne at the Tamarind workshop. His loose painting style translated beautifully onto the litho stone and he discovered a great love of printmaking. Captivated by Southern California's atmosphere and the printmaking opportunities he found here, he took a teaching position at Chouinard in 1965, and remained in Los Angeles for the remainder of his life.

Oxnard Madame (1961), Matsumi “Mike” Kanemitsu. Lithography (paper and ink) 15 x 18 in. Gift of Margot H. Leavin, Japanese American National Museum (99.288.2).

Based on this original

Oxnard Madame (1961) by Matsumi “Mike” Kanemitsu
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Oxnard Madame (1961), Matsumi “Mike” Kanemitsu. Lithography (paper and ink) 15 x 18 in. Included in the Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism exhibition on view at the Japanese American ... More »


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