ONOSATO
Toshinobu

ONOSATO Toshinobu was born in Nagano Prefecture, 1912 and passed away in Gunma, 1986. From 1931 to 1934, he studied western painting from Seifu Tsuda. In 1935, he founded the Kokusho group. During 1945 to 1948, he was kept prisoner in Siberia for having served Manchuria. After he resumed his artistic activity, he started painting bold blank circles in the 1950s. These artworks are greatly valued in America.

Onosato’s style and techniques were by using a compass to form the circle. He was a very systematic person, and he worked on 40 - 50 canvases at one time. The process usually took a year, and once he was done he would repeat it all over again. His circles somehow remind people of mandala and are the more beloved pieces of the American collectors. They appreciate the intricacy and the lines in the painting, and by using a microscope they are able to see the depth of it.

His artworks during the 50’s are considered the most valuable ones. Even a small piece of work from that era would cost over $100,000 in near future. This is also by the reference of Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist that has been exposed to the American art market.

Onosato is not only popular in the America market, but also well accepted in Japan. The Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo is currently showcasing 1940s to 1980s art pieces by Onosato. Most of the collection are acquired from the 3rd generation owner of Shiseido company, Mr Fukuhara.

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