Kenji Yoshida was born in 1924 in Ikeda City, which is today part larger Osaka. He had started his artistic studies at an early age, before the Second World War broke out, and threw him into the insanity of the conflict. Selected and trained in the Special Attack Squadrons of the Japanese Naval Air Force Yoshida was selected to fly kami-kaze missions. The fact that he survived the war is a miracle. When the hostilities ended, and with the memories of near-death experiences fresh in his mind, the young man returned to art and devoted his life single-mindedly to the pursuit of beauty.
As a painter Kenji Yoshida is mostly known for composing large abstract images in which simple large shapes of black or color, are harmoniously juxtaposed to fields of gold, silver and brass leaf. A meditative zen quality can be found in these shapes, which remind us of nature, without ever clearly showing particular elements. They are “scaped” to be elegant and quiet.
Yoshida lived and worked in Paris from 1964 until 2009. While living in France, he trained with the renowned printmaker Bill Hayter (Stanley William Hayter) and worked for many years at Hayter’s well-known Atelier 17 studio. His colored etchings are patterned and busier compositionally than his paintings. In these intaglios layers of color are woven together, resembling fabric.