• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 14498

    Through a Collector's Eye: The Kenzo Kagami Collection of Postwar Japanese Art

    11 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 2

    Toshimitsu Imai (1928 - 2002)


    Price Realised  


    Toshimitsu Imai (1928 - 2002)
    signed Imai (lower right)
    signed in English and Japanese Imai Toshimitsu (on the reverse)
    inscribed and dated Paris 1955 and in Japanese 1954 - 1955 (Completed) (on the reverse)

    oil on canvas
    92 x 73 cm.
    Painted in 1954-55

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Toshimitsu Imai achieved high acclaim as an artist who strove to break new boundaries as a painter. He was born in Kyoto in 1928 and went to school in Tokyo. He was awarded prizes as an artist from the early 1950s, exhibiting in the 15th Salon of Shinseisaku, winning a prize for best young artist. In search of the new, in 1952 he left for Paris where he studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, followed by Paris University. Almost immediately he became part of the dynamic international art scene in Paris, holding his first one-man exhibition in Paris at Galerie 25 in 1953 and in 1955 met Michel Tapié, who during the 1950s was the advisor to Rodolphe Stadler, owner of the leading avant-garde gallery which promoted Art Informel. From this point on Imai turned increasingly towards abstraction and along with his contemporary and fellow-Paris resident Hisao Domoto became contract artists of Galerie Stadler, and would both become recognised as Art Informel artists.

    Special Notice

    These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. This VAT is not shown separately on the invoice. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Through A Collector's Eye: The Kenzo Kagami Collection of Post-War Japanese Art


    National Museum of Art, Osaka, ed., Imai Toshimitsu ten: Toho no hikari (Imai Toshimitsu, A Retrospective 1950-1989), exhibition catalogue, (Tokyo, 1989), cat. no. 11
    Gian Carlo Calza, IMAI, (Milan, 1998), p. 61
    The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma and The Museum of Art, Ehime, Through a Collectors Eye: Japanese Art after 1945, exhibition catalogue, (Japan, 2001), cat. no. 14, p. 35


    8th April - 23rd May 1989: Imai Toshimitsu ten: toho no hikari (Imai Toshimitsu A Retrospective 1950-1989), The National Museum of Art, Osaka, and others
    2001 - 2002: Through a Collectors Eye: Japanese Art after 1945, The Museum of Modern Art, Gunma and The Museum of Art, Ehime