In “The Final Years,” See the Last Works of a Celebrated Japanese Painter and Set Designer
Kikuo Saito was a color field painter, set designer, and theater director, who began his career as a studio assistant for some of the most preeminent painters of the 1970s and ‘80s, including Larry Poons, Kenneth Noland, and Helen Frankenthaler. Saito’s works are bright and calligraphic, often covered in gestural strokes of color, drips of paint, and stenciled capital letters. Before turning to painting, Saito was a resident at New York’s La MaMa Experimental Theater Club, and collaborated on set design with directors and choreographers like Robert Wilson, Peter Brook, and Jerome Robins. Saito returned to the theater in 1996 with his silent production, Toy Garden, which costumed dancers as characters from Vittore Carpaccio’s painting Two Venetian Women on a Terrace (1490) in an attempt to reimagine the work’s missing half.
Japanese, 1939-2016, Tokyo, Japan, based in New York, New York