Japanese, b. 1958
Lives and works in Denver, Colorado
At a time when little continues to be made by hand, sculptor Yoshitomo Saito’s work—hand-cast bronze objects produced in his own studio foundry—demonstrates a refreshing commitment to craftsmanship. Saito’s most recent bronze works range from freestanding sculptures to highly detailed wall-hung works. These sculptures were inspired, in part, by the avant-garde sensibility of French composer and pianist Erik Satie. Under Saito’s masterful hand, bronze appears a featherweight medium perfectly attuned to even the most fragile aspects of our ever-changing natural world. Throughout his practice, Saito has playfully reinterpreted organic shapes while refining and developing his technical expertise. As he has done for the last twenty years, Saito continues to defy expectations of his chosen material, celebrating the medium’s ability to appear fresh, clean and contemporary.
Born in Japan, Saito began his artistic practice as a glassblower. While a graduate student at the California College of Arts, he began to work with bronze, a material that has sustained his interest since. The artist is trained in a labor-intensive technique known as lost-wax casting, in which the wax mold is “lost” or destroyed during the casting process. Saito produces extraordinarily detailed bronzes that often reference the most fragile parts of our natural landscape, such as twigs and branches, pine cones and bark, which he combines into striking wall-hung installations and sculptures.
Publications such as Art in America, San Francisco Chronicle and Sculpture magazine have featured the artist and his dynamic practice. Saito’s work has been exhibited internationally and collected by institutions including the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Honolulu, HI; the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; California College of the Arts, Oakland/San Francisco, CA; and Oakland Museum of California.