Ray Yoshida

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Ray Yoshida
Born Raymond Kakuo Yoshida
(1930-10-03)October 3, 1930
Died January 10, 2009(2009-01-10) (aged 78)
Nationality  United States
Education University of Hawaii, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Syracuse University
Known for Photography, Collage
Movement Chicago Imagists

Raymond "Ray" Kakuo Yoshida (October 3, 1930 – January 10, 2009) was a Chicago artist known for his paintings and collages, and a teacher at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1959 to 2005. He was an important mentor of the Chicago Imagists, a group in the 1960s and 1970s who specialized in distorted, emotional representational art.[1]

Yoshida was born in Hawaii and returned there after 2005 when his health began to fail. He studied at the University of Hawaii, but was drafted into the army during the Korean War. He resumed his studies in Chicago, where a sister was a nurse, and received degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Syracuse University.[2]

His paintings are strongly influenced by comics[2] and his personal collection of folk art and found art.[1] His collages are strongly graphic, placing "tiny, oddly shaped details of architecture, fabric, hairdos and other unidentifiable elements"[3] in ordered rows of fragments and tiers .[2] Critic Ken Johnson called his collages "formally captivating, dreamily strange and comically absurd."[3] Both he and his work are referred to as enigmatic, mysterious, and witty.[4]

Yoshida's work was exhibited along with the Imagists at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 1969. From 1971 through the 1990s, his work was shown in the Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago and New York City. A retrospective of his art was exhibited in 1998 at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu (now the Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House), the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Madison Art Center in Madison, Wisconsin.[1] His last solo exhibition was in 1999 at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York.[4]

Ray Yoshida's works can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Hawaii State Art Museum, and the National Museum of American Art in Washington.


  1. ^ a b c Larry Finley, "Influential Figure in Chicago Art World: Teacher, Mentor to Artists in Imagism School of 1970s", Chicago Sun-Times, Monday, January 19, 2009
  2. ^ a b c Trevor Jensen, "Ray Yoshida, 1930-2009: Art Institute teacher was part of Chicago Imagists: Member of Chicago Imagists exhibited all over the country", Chicago Tribune, Saturday, January 17, 2009
  3. ^ a b Ken Johnson, "ART IN REVIEW; Ray Yoshida," The New York Times, September 17, 1999
  4. ^ a b Ken Johnson, "Ray Yoshida, Collage Artist, Painter and Teacher, Dies at 78," The New York Times, Friday, January 16, 2009