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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Kozo Izawa






Statement

    It is tedious for me to show a explicit synopsis of the story in artworks. I want to keep Japanese vagueness or ambiguity. Thereby, I’ll represent images that they cannot tell it is real or surreal, dawn or evening. If someone asks “which do you want to depict, smiling face or sad face?”, I’ll say “an ambiguous face different from being woodenly expressionless”. I try to get close to a image before defined words.

Kozo Izawa













Kozo Izawa consistently draws very simple, pared down images; girls or poinsettia stand in a space, where we cannot distinguish the time of day. The image is at once realistic and surrealistic. Girls seem to inhabit both the earthly and the spirit realms. Izawa has created an ambiguous and mysterious world where a clear meaning is elusive. His work is a mirror reflecting the viewer’s state of mind.

In 1955, Liquitex, the first water-based acrylic paint was developed in the United States, and rapidly spread throughout the art world. In Japan, acrylic paint became a popular medium used primarily by young artists at many exhibitions since 1970’s. Izawa was studying Western style painting in Kyoto City University during this time. As an ambitious young man in his twenties, he intended to be a pioneer of acrylic painting, shying away from the guidance of the oil painting masters.

In 1977, Izawa won a prize at Dokuritsu Exhibition, a leading group exhibition of Japanese art, and then officially beginning his career as an artist. In 1981, he received the excellence prize of Tokyo Central Museum Oil Painting Grand Prize Exhibition. In 1984, he was selected with Kinutani Koji, Tamura Noriko, and the other artists, in the Japanese Emerging Artist Exhibition, and winning the Award of Excellence in 1988. Since 1985, he has received the Yasui Award Exhibition, the most prestigious art award for Japanese society in those days. In 1991, he was recognized as the artist to assume the next generation by Kyoto city.

He was selected with Takayama Tatsuo, Nakayama Tadahiko and other leading artists to show in Ryo-yo-no-me (Eye combining Western and Eastrn civilization) Exhibition in 1990, a forum founded by Kawakita Michiaki, one of the best Japanese art critics. He has energetically exhibited not only in the Kansai region, his home area, but also in Tokyo, in the 1990s and later; with solo exhibits in venues like Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi in 1995, and Kinokuniya Gallery in 2010.

Izawa’s work is included in the permanent collections of: Kyoto prefecture and the other local authorities, Hoki Museum, Kobe College Junior and Senior High School.




Biography
1956 Born in Nara, Japan
1980 M.F.A., in Kyoto City University of Arts


Award
1981 Excellence Prize—Tokyo Central Museum Oil Painting Grand Prize Exhibition
1986 New Face Award—Dokuritsu Exhibition
1988 Award of Exellence—5th Japan Young Painters Exhibition
1989 Encouragement Award—Dokuritsu Exhibition
1991 The Best Young Artist Award by Kyoto City
1996 Dokuritsu Prize—Dokuritsu Exhibition
Public Collection
Kyoto Prefecture
Nabari City
Hoki Museum
Kobe College Junior and Senior High School

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