Gu (foolish), 1966; hanging scroll, ink on Japanese paper,
h. 76 3/8 x w. 47 5/8 in. (194 x 121 cm)

En (circle, cycle in Zen philosophy), 1977, ink on Japanese paper,
h. 55 1/2 x w. 74 in. (141 x 188 cm)

Tori (bird), 1976; hanging scroll, ink on Chinese paper,
h. 20 1/4 x w. 24 in. (51.5 x 61cm)

Taru (content, satisfied), 1973; ink on Japanese paper,
h. 41 x w. 49 1/4 in. (104 x 125cm)

Hana (flower), 1970; ink on Japanese paper,
h. 19 1/8 x w. 27 in. (48.5 x 68.7cm)

Yu-ichi Inoue (1916-1985)

Yu-ichi Inoue became a famed master calligrapher known for his abstract expressionism. He began studying calligraphy at the age of 25 and was drawn to explore not only standard but experimental styles of the artistic script.

As his work gained international acclaim, he increasingly rejected conservative calligraphy and soon co-founded Bokujin Kai, an avant-garde society for calligraphy that drew inspiration from Western abstract expressionist art movements. Inoue filled large sheets with thick black strokes, splatters, and dots, merging traditional character-based design with modern abstract gestures. He embodied his creative process, the dark streaks on paper tracing his full body movement, emotion, vision, and skill.

In Inoue’s work, we cannot easily draw the line between the categories of calligraphy and abstract painting. He intentionally blurs it.

Yu-ichi Inoue e-catalogue

Yu-ichi Inoue (1916-1985) Exhibits

Selected Exhibitions

Strength of Character: The Abstract Calligraphy of Japanese
Master Inoue Yuichi, Onishi Gallery, NY
Yu-ichi Inoue, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
Yu-ichi, Works on Paper, Japan Art, Galerie Friedrich Müller, Frankfurt, Germany
Inoue Yuichi, Hangzhou International Calligraphy Art Festival, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
Yuichi Vivant, Chigasaki City Museum of Art, Kanagawa
Yuichi Ali, d’Ac Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea di Ciampino, Italy
Yuichi: 1916-1985, Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland
Yuichi: Exhibition in Commemoration of the publication of Yuichi Sho-ho, Tianjin People’s Arts Publishing House Gallery, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China
Yuichi works 1955-85, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Travels to Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art; Niigata City Art Museum; The Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art; The Ehime Prefectural Museum of Art; Koriyama City Museum of Art, Fukushima, Japan

Selected Public Collections

Carnegie Institution for Science / Chiba City Museum of Art / Chigasaki City Museum of Art / Handicrafts Museum, Frankfurt / Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art / The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst Köln / National Museum of Art, Osaka / The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / Niigata City Art Museum / The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art / Okazaki Mindscape Museum / Rietberg Museum / Von der Heydt-Museum / Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum