Miyoko Ito

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Miyoko Ito
Photo of Miyoko Ito.jpg
Born(1918-04-27)April 27, 1918
Berkeley, California
DiedAugust 18, 1983(1983-08-18) (aged 65)
Chicago, Illinois
EducationUniversity of California Berkeley, Smith College, Art Institute of Chicago
Known forPainting
MovementAbstract Art
Harry Ichiyasu
(m. 1942)
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship (1977)

Miyoko Ito (April 27, 1918–August 18, 1983) was an American artist known for her watercolor and abstract oil paintings and prints.[2][3] Ito was part of an informal group of like-minded, but visually diverse Chicago painters, self-named the "Allusive Abstractionists" and formed in 1981. The group, which also included William Conger, Richard Loving and Frank Piatek, was formed to spark dialogue and make space for a wider conception of abstraction that included more subjective, metaphorical work.[4][5] Though tangentially involved with the Chicago Imagists, Ito's own style diverged and synthesized cubism and surrealism.

Ito was born in Berkeley, California on April 27, 1918 to Japanese parents,[6] but returned to Japan with her family in 1923 to receive a traditional Japanese art education and escape discrimination. Five years later, the Itos returned to California, where Miyoko went to the University of California, Berkeley and studied art. There, she was exposed to the ideas of the School of Paris, Hans Hofman, and cubism, all of which influenced her later work. Just before her graduation in 1942, as a Japanese American, she was sent to the Tanforan internment camp near San Francisco following the signing of Executive Order 9066.[7] Though imprisoned in the American concentration camps at Topaz during World War II, Ito was granted her diploma. After her release, she studied at Smith College and the Art Institute of Chicago.[2]

She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977.

She died on August 18, 1983 in Chicago, Illinois.[2]

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive exhibited a small retrospective of her work in 2018, renewing interest in the artist's work.[7]


  1. ^ "Miyoko Ito". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Wakida, Patricia. "Miyoko Ito". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  3. ^ Sensemann, Susan. In Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary, Rima Lunina Schultz and Adele Hast (Eds.), Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001, p. 430–2. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Gedo, Mary Mathews. "Abstraction as Metaphor: The Evocative Imagery of William Conger, Richard Loving, Frank Piatek, Miyoko Ito", Arts Magazine, p. 112-117, 1982.
  5. ^ Boris, Staci. "Miyoko Ito," Art in Chicago 1945-1995. Museum of Contemporary Art, ed. Lynne Warren, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996, p. 259-60. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  6. ^ Boris, Staci. "Miyoko Ito: Biography by Staci Boris, from Art in Chicago 1945 – 1995". Corbett vs. Dempsey. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b Sussman, Matt (1 March 2018). "Miyoko Ito". Art in America. 106 (3): 114–115.

External links[edit]