artist: Haruo Sézaki (Japanese 1907-1977)
medium: oil on board
dimensions: 45 x 37 cm artwork size / 53 1/2 x 45 1/2 cm frame size
signed and dated 50
presented in its original restored inner liner frame with new outer hand finished timber frame
AU $940 (approx US $690 / 585 EUROS / 76,000 yen / 505 GBP - for exact current conversion visit xe.com)
Haruo Sézaki was born September 12, 1907 in Kobe, Japan. He was a Japanese-Swedish painter.
Sézaki became interested in painting from an early age and studied from 1926 to 1929 in Japan under the artists Tsuboi and Kamiyama. The latter advised him to go to Paris for further studies and in 1929 he embarked on the journey to Europe.
To learn French, he studied at the Alliance Française. One of the institute's teachers, Yvonne Perrier, became interested in the young Japanese artist and helped him with contacts in the art world, and at the same time he conducted art studies on his own. From France and Sweden, he made a number of study trips to Europe including time in Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands, followed by a longer trip to his native Japan 1938–1939. This led to him quickly establishing himself and being admitted to a number of jury-judged salons. These include: Salon d'Automne in 1929-1936, Salon des indépendants 1930-1936 and Salon des Tuileries 1930-1936.
Sézaki had his first solo exhibition in Kobe in 1929 and 1938 and in Paris at Galerie le Level, at the turn of the year 1936-1937 and in the spring of 1942 at Galerie l'Arc-en-Ciel, together with compatriot Souzouki. The friend and art critic André Salmon, then known for his acquaintance with and his support for the artists Picasso, Braque and Léger, wrote a foreword to the catalog. Sezaki also got to know Rolf de Maré, grandson of Countess von Hallwyl, close friend of Nils Dardel and founder of Le Balette Suédois. During his long stay in France, he was strongly impressed by late Impressionist painting and his art largely lost its Japanese character.
To increase his income, Sézaki worked a number of jobs including a chef and actor. In 1931, he got a permanent job at the Japanese embassy in Paris as a translator. When World War II broke out and Paris was occupied by German troops, the entire embassy moved with its staff to Vichy. When Germany finally occupied all of free France, Sézaki received help from de Maré and Prince Eugene and came to Sweden as a refugee in June 1942. After the war ended in 1945, Sézaki was in turn deported to Japan, but once again thanks to the help of the Maré and Prince Eugene, be was granted a residence permit in Sweden where he became the first Japanese citizen to become a Swedish citizen in 1953. He married his Swedish wife Gulli Olivia Victorson.
Sézaki was well received by the Swedish art scene and associated with Otto G. Carlsund and Einar Jolin. During the first years in Sweden, he got to know the country from north to south. He painted in Abisko, Ångermanland, Dalarna, Grännatrakten, Gotland, Bjärehalvön and on Österlen. It was eventually in Österlen, with its moors, sea and flowers, that caught his interest. From 1947, Sézaki was a faithful guest at Kivik. In Sweden, he made his debut with an exhibition in the 1940s in Stockholm. In Sweden, he participated in group exhibitions at Lorensberg's art salon, Galerie Moderne, and an exhibition with foreign artists at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm as well as group exhibitions arranged by the Stockholm Schools' art association at Galerie S:t Nikolaus. He had a solo exhibition at Gummesons konsthall in1944, and in Simrishamn and Norrköping. Together with Einar Jolin and Sten Eklund, he exhibited at Louis Hahne's art salon in Stockholm in 1949 and together with Per Olov Ultvedt at Lorensberg's art salon in Gothenburg in 1947. He exhibition alongside Greger Anderson in 1959 and had several exhibitions with Olle von Schewen in Gävle, Nyköping, Lidingö, Södertälje and Västerås. Sézaki was one of the artists in the open house event Pentecost week 1968, which became the basis for Östra Skånes Konstnärsgille and he then participated for many years in the art circuit. The majority of his body of work consists of paintings executed in oil or pastel with landscapes from Lidingö, Norrland's mountain world and Kivik in Skåne, where he lived for long periods.
Sézaki passed away at the age of 69 on August 28, 1977 in Simrishamn, Sweden.