The distinguished woodcut print artist Naoko Matsubara was born on Shikoku Island into an old Shinto family, and grew up in Kyoto, where her father was a senior priest. She was educated at the Kyoto Academy of Fine Art (BFA, 1960); and was a Fulbright Scholar at what is now Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (MFA, 1962). She was also a Special Invited Student at the Royal College of Art in London (1962).
After travelling extensively in Europe and Asia, Naoko Matsubara returned to Japan for two years, before being lured back to the United States. There she worked as personal assistant to the late Prof. Fritz Eichenberg, and also taught at the Pratt Institute of Graphic Art in New York, as well as at the University of Rhode Island. Subsequently she lived in Cambridge, Mass.
In 1972 Naoko Matsubara moved to Canada, and now lives in Oakville, Ontario. She has continued to be extremely active as an artist: locally, nationally and internationally. Since 1960 she has had some 75 solo exhibitions, in the USA, Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Mexico. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions.
Public collections owning work by Naoko Matsubara include: Albertina, Vienna; Art Institute of Chicago; British Museum; Carnegie Institute; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Detroit Institute of Art; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; Haifa Museum, Israel; Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art; Royal Ontario Museum; The White House, Washington DC; Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art; Yale University Art Gallery.
Naoko Matsubara has published some 20 books and portfolios of her work, including most recently Tibetan Sky (Calgary: Bayeux Arts Publishers, 1997; Preface by the Dalai Lama); Tokonoma (Bath, England: Old School Press, 1999); and Konjaku monogatari (Tokyo: ALIS, 2002). Her work also includes a large mural and donor pillar for the new YMCA building in Oakville, Ontario (2003); mixed-media screens; and paintings. In 2005, the Royal Ontario Museum commissioned two large works from Naoko Matsubara for the Museum’s Bloor Street window case. The artist generously donated a third work, Emerald Summer (2006). The three works (each 195 cm. high by 95 cm. wide) will be rotated at regular intervals into the outside window. This is the first commissioned artwork to be displayed on the Museum’s Bloor Street Plaza. She also recently completed commissions for Chatham University in Pittsburgh and the City of St. Catharines, Ontario.
Recent major exhibitions have been in Tokyo, Kyoto, Indiana, and Toronto (Royal Ontario Museum). Further exhibitions are currently being planned in Seattle and Tokyo; new books in process include In Praise of Hands. She also continues to travel widely; is frequently invited to speak about her work; and also publishes essays, in both English and Japanese.
Naoko Matsubara’s work has been the subject of countless articles and reviews; documentary films (including two from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); and several book-length publications: notably Mokuhan: The Woodcuts of Munakata and Matsubara (text by Joan Stanley-Baker; Victoria, BC: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1976); Naoko Matsubara: Development of Artistic Style and Technique (text by Barbara Woodworth; MFA thesis, Harvard University, 1985);.and Tree Spirit. The Woodcuts of Naoko Matsubara (text by Arlene Gehmacher, Klaas Ruitenbeek and John M. Rosenfield; Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 2003).
In May 2009, Ms. Matsubara received an honourary doctorate in Fine Arts from Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
1962 M.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Special Student, Royal College of Art, London, England
1960 B.F.A., Kyoto Academy of Fine Arts, Kyoto, Japan
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2012 “Odori”, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
2009 “Matsubara: A Celebration in Pittsburgh”, A retrospective exhibition, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
“Illuminations”, Chatham University Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2008 World Washi Summit, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
2007 The Prince Takamodo Gallery, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
Galerie Gillygooly, North Hatley, QC
2005 “In Praise of Trees”, Winchester Galleries, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Project Room, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
David Mirvish Art Books, Toronto, ON
Azuma Gallery, Seattle, Washington, USA (Sponsored by the Seattle Art Museum)
2004 “Woodcuts of Naoko Matsubara”, The Carlen Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
Gallery Tsutsui, Tokyo, Japan
2003 “Tree Spirit”, The Woodcuts of Naoko Matsubara, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
The Tolman Collection, Tokyo, Japan
Original Woodcuts from new publication, “The Tales of Days Gone By.” Gallery Yugen, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
2001 “Prints, Poetry & Play”, fundraiser for the Oakville YMCA, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
1999 “Naoko Matsubara: New Prints”, Exhibition at Yamasou Bijutsu, Kyoto, sponsored by Gallery Tsutsui, Tokyo.
1997 Dofasco Gallery, Dundas, Ontario
“Tibetan Sky”, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ontario
1995 Casa de la Cultura Oaxaquena, Oaxaca, Mexico
Davidson Galleries, Seattle WA, USA
1993 Blackwood Gallery, The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
1992 Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork, Ireland
Swansea Arts Workshop Gallery, Swansea, South Wales
1991 The Oriental Museum, University of Durham, Durham, England
Foyer Gallery, University of Ulster, Ulster, Northern Ireland
Antrim Forum, Antrim, Ireland
Graphic Workshop Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
1990 Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto
The Art Gallery at the Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Annex Gallery, Toronto, Ont., Canada
1989-92 Gallery Tsutsui, Tokyo, Japan
1989 The McGill Gallery, Toronto, Ont., Canada
1987 The City Hall Gallery, Naha, Okinawa, Japan
Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Tokyo, Japan
1986 Philadelphia Print Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Art Front Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
1982 Capen Gallery, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA
1981 Wako, Tokyo, Japan
1980 Embassy of Japan, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
1979 Art Gallery of Hamilton, (retrospective show), Hamilton, Ont., Canada
Gallery Moos, Toronto, Ont., Canada
Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
1978 Barbara Fiedler Gallery, Washington, D.C., USA
1978,80,84,86 The Tolmann Collection, Tokyo, Japan
1978,9 Gallery Brand, Oakville, Ont., Canada
1977 Suzuki Graphics Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1976,77 ‘Mokuhan’ travelling show: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC University of British Columbia, BC
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Man.
Glenbow Art Gallery, Calgary, Alta.
1975,87 Gairloch Art Gallery, Oakville, Ont., Canada
1975 Gallery Graphics, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
1974 Hart House Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada
1971 Providence Athenaeum, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
1970,71 American Cultural Centres: Kyoto, Sapporo, Fukuoka, Japan
1970 Galerie Colibri, Puerto Rico, USA
Wiggin Gallery, Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass.,USA
Ichibankan Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1969,71,74,77 Art/Asia, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
1969 Haus Dornsbusch, Frankfurt, Germany
Atelier Incontro, Vienna, Austria
1968 Pforzheim Museum, Pforzheim, Germany
1967,74 The Campus Gallery, Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA
1966 Wilburt Art Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1965 Galerie Viruly, Amsterdam, Holland
1962,80 Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2012 Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON
International exhibition of woodcuts, Romania
2008 World Washi Summit, The Japanese Paper Place, Toronto, ON
Exhibition of self-portraits, Royal Canadian Academy members, Toronto, ON
2007 ‘Jazz on the Walls’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
‘The Oakville Show’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
‘Flowers that Last’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
‘White’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
New York – Praha, Amerika Grafica of SAGA, Galerie HOLLAR, Praha, Czech Republic
‘On the Cutting Edge’, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA
Modern Japanese prints 1868-1989, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2006 Print Show, Art Exchange, London, ON
“The Power of Two,” The Japanese Paper Place, Toronto; Maclaren Art Centre, Oshawa, ON
2005 Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, ON
“Made in Japan: The Postwar Creative Print Movement”, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, USA
2004 “Honoring Tradition, Perspectives of Three Asian American Artists: Indira Johnson, Naoko Matsubara and Komelia Okim” Ball State University Museum of Art, Muncie, IN, USA
Oakville Galleries, Oakville, ON
2003 “10th Anniversary Exhibition”, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, ON
‘Water’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakille, Ontario. An exhibition in conjunction with The Water Project initiated by The Ontario Society of Artists
2000 “Paperworks”, Invitational Group Paperworks Exhibition, Burlington Cultural Centre, Burligton, Ontario
1999 “Through the Medium of Wood”, woodcuts by Matsubara, wooden sculpture by Sandy Van Ginkel, the Japan Foundation, Toronto, Ontario
“ Seven Contemporary Japanese Women Print Artists”, sponsored by CWAJ (American Club Gallery), Tokyo
1998 “les Femmeuses ’98.” Pratt and Whitney Canada, Québec
“Earth” (RCA Members). John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON
1995 ‘Tradition Made Modern’, Princeton University Library Gallery, Princeton, NJ, USA
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, USA
1994 ‘Japan Now: Three Women Printmakers’ (Toko Shinoda, Reika Iwami & Naoko Matsubara), Charlotte NC, USA
‘Celebrating Ontario’, The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Art Collection, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ont
‘Modern Japanese Prints 1912-1989’, British Museum, London, England
1993 ‘Trees’ (Matsubara and Sunderland) (travelling exhibition):
Bishop’s University, Artist’s Centre, Lennoxville, Que
Stewart Art Centre, Pt. Claire, Que
‘Canadian Historical Prints’, Abbozzo Gallery, Oakville, Ont
1992 ‘Three Women Artists’ (dePedery Hunt, Kirwin, Matsubara), John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, Ont
‘Works from the Permanent Collection’, Meguro Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1990 ‘Contemporary Japanese Prints’ (Matsubara and Fudezuka), The Art Gallery, at The Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, Ont.
1990 Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati OH, USA
1989 ‘Modern Japanese Prints’, Portland Museum of Art, Portland OR, USA
1987 ‘Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Exhibition’, Academy House, Toronto, Ont.
1983 Seoul International Print Biennale, Seoul, Korea
‘Japanese Prints since 1900’, British Museum, London England
1980 ‘4 Artists in Wood’, City of Brampton Library and Art Gallery, Brampton, Ont.
1978 ‘The Japanese Prints’ from The James Austin Collection, Carnegie Institute of Art, Pittsburgh PA, USA
1977-78 ‘The Japanese Canadian Centennial Art Exhibition in Ontario’ (travelling exhibition)
The Macdonald Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
S.A.W. Gallery, Ottawa, Ont.
Algoma Art Gallery, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Kitchener-Waterloo Gallery, Waterloo, Ont.
Lindsay Gallery, Lindsay, Ont.
Thames Gallery, Chatham, Ont.
1977 ‘Moderne Japanische Grafik’, Stadtischen Museum, Gottingen, West Germany
1976-77 ‘MOKUHAN, Woodcuts of Munakata & Matsubara’ (travelling exhibition):
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Man
Glenbow Art Gallery, Calgary, Alta
1976 ‘Imprint ‘76’, The Print and Drawing Council of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario
1976 ‘Contemporary Relief Prints’ (9 artists), Hiestand Gallery, Miami University, Oxford OH, USA
1975 ‘Inaugural Exhibition’ Grey Art Museum, New York University, New York, NY, USA
1975 ‘Graphic Images of Japan’ from The Tolman Collection, The Asia Foundation, San Francisco Ca, USA
1973 ‘Japanese Artists in Americas’, The National Museums of Modern Art, Tokyo & Kyoto, Japan
1972 Exposicao de Cinco Gravadores Contemporaneos Americanos, Galeria Conizares, Brazil
1971 ‘Three Generations’ (Un’ichi Hiratsuka, Shiko Munakata, Naoko Matsubara), Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati OH, USA
1970 ‘Three Contemporary Printmakers’ (Omar Rayo, George Nama, Naoko Matsubara), The Michael Berger Gallery, Pittsburgh PA, USA
1969 ‘Exposition Internationale de Gravure sur Bois XYLON’, Musee D’Art et D’Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland, & Kongresshalle Berlin, West Germany
1967-95 Society of American Graphic Artists Annual Shows, New York, NY, USA
1966 ‘Japanese Twentieth Century Prints’, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA,USA
74,75,85, College Women’s Association of Japan, Annual Show, Tokyo, Japan
1963 The Hangainten, Toyko, Japan
AWARDS, COMMISSIONS, APPOINTMENTS
2011 ‘Aquatic Movement’, commissioned for the Kiwanis Aquatics Centre by the city of St. Catharines, Ontario
2010 Distinguished Career Award, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2009 Honourary Doctorate, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2008 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award, commissioned by Abbozzo Gallery and WAVE 94.7 Smooth Jazz radio, Hamilton, Ontario
2007 Three large panels commissioned by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, for long-term display in the Bloor Street window of the new Asian Galleries
Canadian Smooth Jazz Award, commissioned by Abbozzo Gallery and WAVE 94.7 Smooth Jazz radio, Hamilton, Ontario
2006 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award, commissioned by Abbozzo Gallery and WAVE 94.7 Smooth Jazz radio, Hamilton, Ontario
2005 Canadian Smooth Jazz Award, commissioned by Abbozzo Gallery and WAVE 94.7 Smooth Jazz radio, Hamilton, Ontario
2004 Sponsorship Award for the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, Oakville, ON
‘Lakeside Icicles’, Community Spirit Award, Town of Oakville, ON
2002 Mural Commission, lobby, new YMCA, Oakville, ON
2001 Donor Recognition Wall, commissioned by the Oakville Y.M.C.A.
1993 ‘Christmas Kite’, woodcut Christmas Card commissioned by Abbozzo Gallery
1990 Tree Spirit, 30 minute documentary video, produced by CBC TV
1983 30 minute Documentary, New Jersey Educational Television
1982 Ontario Arts Council Grant
1981 Elected Member, Royal Canadian Academy of Art.
1976 Canada Council grant for travelling exhibition and publication of catalogue
1970 30 minute Documentary Film by Boston Educational TV Station
1967 Award, Annual Exhibition, Society of American Graphic Artists (invited member)
Commission by UNESCO for the Geneva Peace Conference Graphic Show, Switzerland
1964 30 minute Documentary Film, CBC TV (in Kyoto, Japan)
1963 Kegon Awards, Nihon Hangainten, Tokyo
1962 Invited Special Student, Royal College of Art, London, England
1961-62 Graduate Assistantship, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
1961-63 Fulbright Travel Grant, USA
1960 Mural Commission: Cafeteria, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan
2008 “In Praise of Hands” (In course of publication)
2007 “A Crystal Clear Woodcut Collage” (Peter Goddard), The Toronto Star, Toronto ON
“Living in Canada for 35 years, Recent Works by Matsubara at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo” (Norio Iromoto), The Nikka Times, Toronto, ON
2006 ‘Deep Groove’, enRoute Magazine, February 2006
2005 “Artscene. The Art of Naoko Matsubara” (by Mandi Hargrave). The Oakville Beaver, Oakville, ON.
“Nihon gendai hanga-ten ni manekarete… sup?su no omoshirosa, tanoshisa, k?sai no utsukushisa ni ky?tan – Miruu?k? Bijutsukan.” The Nikka Times (Toronto).
2004 “Three Asian Artists. A View from the East” (by Erin Moody). 72 Hours. Ball State University
“Munakata and Matsubara: An Artist’s Memoir.” Impressions. The Journal of the Ukiyo-e Society of America, Inc. (New York), No. 26. pp. 89 – 93.
“A Tribute to John Rosenfield from an Artist”. Orientations (Hong Kong), Vol. 35, No. 1 (January/ Februar), pp. 70 – 71.
2003 “Tales of Days Gone By”, Woodcuts by Naoko Matsubara, English translation by Charles de Wolf, of selected tales of early Japanese folklore.
2002 “The Tales of Days Gone By.” Tokyo: Alis.
2000 “Oakville Woodcuts” a series of scenes and impressions of Oakville.
“In Praise of Hands”, a book of 22 original woodcuts of the hands series executed between 1974 and 1998, to be published by Mosaic Press.
“ Konjakumonogatari”, 11th Century Japanese Folktales, 18 original woodcuts accompanied by Japanese and English text, Alis Publishers, Tokyo.
1999 “Tokonoma”, Limited Edition Portfolio of 20 original colour woodcuts accompanied by 20 verses by poet James Kirkup, The Old School Press, Bath, U.K.
1997 ‘Tibetan Sky’, (text by David Waterhouse & Pratapaditya Pal; forward by the Dalai Lama). Calgary, Alta:Bayeux Arts Inc.
‘In Praise of Hands’, (In course of publication.)
‘Konjaku monogalari’, ALIS, Tokyo. (In course of publication.)
1986 ‘In Praise of Trees’, (text edited by Peter Heyworth) (Limited edition portfolio.) Oakville, Ont: Mosaic Press.
1985 ‘In-Whan and the Peachtree’, (text by Caroline Garrett). (Limited edition, signed.) Columbus OH: Logan Press, Ohio State University
1984 ‘In Praise of Trees’, (text edited by Peter Heyworth). Oakville, Ont: Mosaic Press.
1978 ‘Kyoto Woodcuts’, (text by Bunso Jugaku). Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd
1971 ‘Solitude’, (text from Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. (Portfolio of twelve original woodcuts.) New York: Aquarius Press
‘Insect Summer’, (text by James Kirkup). New York: Alfred A Knopf.
1970 ‘Boston Impressions’, (text by Sinclair Hitchings). Barre, Ma: Barre publishers
1968 ‘Nantucket Woodcuts’, (text by Fritz Eichenberg). Barre, MA: Barre Publishers
‘Die Geschichte von Bambussammler und dem Madchen Kaguya’, (German translation by Hisako Matsubara). Munchen: Verlag Langewiesche-Brandt.
1967 Award, Annual Exhibition, Society of American Graphic Artists (invited member)
1966 ‘The Tale of the Shining Princess’, (text by Hisako Matsubara). Tokyo: Kodansh International Ltd.
1964 ‘Tu Tze-Chun’, (text by Akutagawa Ryunosuke; English translation by Dorothy Britton). Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd.
1963 ‘My Woodcuts and Myself’, Texas Quarterly (Austin: University of Texas Press).
American Club, Tokyo, Japan
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC
Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Boston Public Library, Boston, Mass., USA
British Museum, London, England
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY, USA
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, USA
DeYoung Memorial Museum, San Francisco, California, USA
Embassy of Canada, Tokyo, Japan
Embassy of Japan, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge MA
Gairloch Art Gallery, Oakville, Ont., Canada
Haifa Museum, Haifa, Israel
Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts, Hamburg, Germany
Klingspor Museum, Klingspor, Germany
Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.,USA
McDonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Ont., Canada
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada
Meguro Museum, Tokyo
Metropolitan Toronto Library, Toronto, Ont., Canada
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., USA
National Library of Canada, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
New York Public Library, New York, NY, USA
New York University, New York NY
Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA
Pforzheim Museum, Pforzheim, Germany
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Princeton University Library, Princeton, NJ, USA
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Il.
The Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC
The White House, Washington, D.C.,USA
Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA
Yale University Art Gallery
1965-2000 Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON
University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Inuit Art Workshop, Cape Dorset, NWT
University of Guelph, Guelph, ON
Pratt Graphic Center, New York, NY, USA
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA