James Hiroshi Suzuki first studied in Japan with Yoshio Markino and, after arriving in the United States in the 1950s, studied at the Portland School of Fine Arts in Maine and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. He taught at University of California, Berkeley in 1962, California College of Arts and Crafts from 1964-1965, and at California State University in Sacramento since 1999.
James Hiroshi Suzuki follows in the footsteps of such giants of Color Field painting as Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, and Barnett Newman. In March I, Suzuki has created a landscape picture that has been reduced to its most basic components. All overt recognizable imagery has been eliminated in the quest for the purest abstraction. What remains are the colors of the earth, air, and sky, a trait characteristic of many Japanese and Korean painters – especially the blues of the sky and the browns of the earth in recognition of the farm fields. This visual abstraction is expressive, sensual, and dynamic. There is both the feeling of action and movement. However, one is left to wonder if there is any significance attached to the title March I, 1960. Is it a date of historical importance such as the Ides of March or perhaps a date of some personal importance? When Suzuki painted this work, he had been in the States for approximately five years. Amongst the Asian American artists who traveled to America were Inokuma Gen’ichiro and Kenzo Okada, two wonderful artists. Suzuki’s work is interesting and deserves more study and understanding, which has not occurred yet in the market.