HomeExhibitionsArtistsEventsEducationEducationEducationAbout UsContact
Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 40 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.


Kenji Yoshida, Inochi To Heiwa (Life and Peace), 2000.
Oil and metals on canvas.

Kenji Yoshida, Inochi To Heiwa (Life and Peace), 1996.
Oil and metals on canvas , 65 x 54 cm.

New and selected work

To see available works and biographical details

An exhibition of new paintings and selected works – including large-scale panel pieces – by the well-known Japanese artist, Kenji Yoshida.  This will be his fourth solo show at the Gallery.

Born in 1924, in Ikeda City (part of present-day Osaka) Yoshida studied art under the great Hayashi Kiyoshi and also Furukido, before those studies were interrupted by the war. Selected for training as a kami-kaze pilot, Yoshida was extremely lucky to survive his teens - though the majority of his close friends were not so fortunate. After the close of hostilities, the memory of the traumatic experience of having walked so near to death spurred Yoshida to throw himself single-mindedly into his art again, and devote himself to a sustained exploration of the life-affirming forces that he had seen so nearly extinguished. From that point onwards the majority of his work has carried the single, most telling of all titles, “Life”.

In 1964, Yoshida moved to Paris where he has lived ever since.  His quest for purity led him to prefer the fundamental forms of the square and the circle.  His research into colour led him to two essential elements, black and white.  He then introduced two materials that surpass the category of colour, gold and silver leaf.  These metals bestow on the painted surface a dimension both temporal and sublime.
His forms and colours inevitably recall nature’s landscapes and his black, a synthesis of every colour, invites us to stand before it in serene self-contemplation.

 In 1993, the quality of Yoshida’s work was recognised when he was honoured to be the first living artist ever to be given a solo exhibition at the Japanese Galleries of the British Museum. During the Festival of Canterbury, 2004,his magnificent octagonal installation,Sei-mei, could be seen in Canterbury Cathedral. In 2006 the Chateau de Blois, in the Loire Valley held a major solo exhibition.

Whilst at first sight these works might appear as quite modern abstractions, examined more closely they reveal themselves to be a continuing series of attempts to depict, in two dimensions, the complex interplay of ever-shifting forces, the evolving result of which we recognise to be the irrepressible force of “life.”
Yoshida’s marvellous canvases can be construed as momentary apperceptions of reality, unique intuitions made manifest by the power of the artist’s vision, glimpses that allow his audience access to the serene beauty of an otherwise invisible series of linked progressions.

Again, another way to read the still unfolding series of Yoshida’s whirling vortices of colour, is as subtle evocations of the repeating iterations of Yin and Yang held balanced in time and space and rendered momentarily visible.

To see available works and biographical details


October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367