The Hudson (Detail)

The Hudson (Detail)

Editor's Note: This photograph can be used in conjunction with the lesson plan Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York.

For artist Junko Yoda, both the finished product and the process of creation are significant.  Yoda moved to New York City from Japan in response to an exhibition of Abstract Expressionist artwork that she viewed in Tokyo. In the artists’ own words, responding to a question of why she was prompted to leave Japan:

In 1966, there was a great exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. It was called Two Decades of American Painting. It was an important exhibition that introduced American paintings to Japanese people for the first time. The show included works by Pollock, De Kooning, Morris Louis, Newman, Johns, Rauschenberg, Warhol, and many other artists. I saw the paintings of all the artists for the first time. It was shocking enough for me to decide to go to New York.1

Today, Yoda typically works in a style that is emotional and abstract, while simultaneously incorporating elements of craft and devoting meticulous attention to each work. As an example, her painting The Hudson (shown here) was created through the painstaking layering of small bits of Japanese paper applied with dripped paint to panel. 

Yoda was born in Miyoshi-gun, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan in 1943.  She moved to New York in the late 1960s and currently lives and works in Manhattan. 

1 Shiner, Eric C. & Tomii, Reiko. Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York. New York: Japan Society, 2007, p.187.
Junko Yoda
The Hudson (Detail)
Acrylic, Japanese paper, and charcoal on wood panel (diptych)
96 x 144" (243.8 x 365.8 cm)
Collection of the artist; courtesy Zabriskie Gallery, New York
Photo: Jacques DeMelo