(1902 - 1982)
Kenzo Okada is generally considered to be the Asian-American painter most closely associated with the New York School. He attended the Tokyo Fine Arts University, then traveled to Paris, studying with Tsuguharu Foujita and exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne, before returning to Japan. In 1950, he moved to New York. By this time, he was painting non-objectively and he quickly signed on with the Betty Parsons Gallery, one of the leading purveyors of abstract expressionist art. Although Okada employed abstract expressionist techniques in his painting, such as the use of large-scale canvases, he emphasized the importance of Japanese aesthetics and philosophy in his work. This sensibility is reflected in his use of a light, natural palette of earth tones and pastels and balanced compositions that retain elements of traditional Japanese landscape painting.