Collector’s Choice: Kenzie Okada

Here’s the story of how I discovered this artist. Two fellow artists on The Fine Art America website led me to this gem! Cliff Spohn started it all by making a comment below my newly posted artwork (pictured at the bottom of this feature,) referring me to the artist <strong>Kenzie Okada. Upon professing my ignorance of this artist, fellow artist VIVA Anderson provided me with the link to many of Kenzie’s works. The link is –

Thanks to my fellow Fine Art America America  Cliff Spohn and VIVA Anderson.


After Kenzo Okada relocated from Tokyo to New York in 1950, his work came to represent a melding of Japanese traditions and American abstract trends. Rather than striving for pure abstraction, his work from the 1950s could be called “semi-abstract,” evoking the natural world through carefully composed form and a decidedly muted palette.




These works are subtle, quiet, and poetic—more meditative in nature than the energetic gestural abstractions of some of his American-born counterparts.





The composition of Decision (1956) is also organized to suggest nature.


Blocky, softly defined shapes organically arrange the canvas into rough horizontal registers, creating a panoramic quality reminiscent of landscape painting.








Click on thumbnails to enlarge



Meanwhile, small, irregular shapes hover and tumble rhythmically across the stable ground. Okada thus seeks a balance between heavy and delicate, tangible and abstract.


And here is my painting that started the whole discussion

Janis Kirstein



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