Country: Spain
City: Barcelona
Artist: Yoichi tanabe
Year: 1949-



    These diverse themes in Youichi’s work are understood when it is known that he was born in a city linked to the sea and surrounded by nature. His interest in flora and fauna is a constant in Japanese culture and art.
    Youichi is also fascinated by industrial interiors and buildings under construction, he finds them a great personality and more than a painting, he makes them a portrait.
    FIRMA ret img174In his works he applies vigorous brushstrokes typical of traditional Japanese calligraphy, achieving a captivating rotundity and gestuality.

    Youichi Tanabe (Japan, Kumamoto, 1949) has developed a remarkable career as a painter. His trajectory includes individual exhibitions in Gallery and international Fairs in Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, China, Russia, Japan, Holland, Portugal, Italy and Spain. 
    His work flows within figuration and in his most recent production, parts of his paintings approach abstraction without losing the suggestions to forms. In this way looking at a Yoichi painting becomes a search for the themes hidden behind provocative suggestions that encourage one to keep searching.
    Showing an impeccable balance of composition and chromatic ranges, he executes his works with a masterful mastery of techniques with predominance of oil.



yoichi-tanabe_set-sail-for-moby-dick Youichi Tanabe. Set Sail for… Oil painting, 2016,   150 x 120 cm.  (59 x 47,24 in.)  

youichi-tanabe_fisherman-under-the-lighthouse-copia_950_wYouichi Tanabe. Fisherman under the Lighthouse, Oil painting, 2016,   100 x 81 cm.   (39,37 x 31,89 in.)  

Youichi Tanabe. Navigation in the Rain VII, Oil painting, 2007,   162 x 146 cm.   (63,78 x 57,48 in.)    

yoichi-tanabe_sphinx-awokenYouichi Tanabe. Sphinx Awoken, 2015, Oil painting,   81 x 146 cm.   (31,89 x 57,48 in.)   

youichi-tanabe_moby-dick_950_wYouichi Tanabe. Moby Dick, Oil painting, 2015,  81 x 146 cm.  (31,89 x 57,48 in. )   

Youichi-Tanabe_Landscape with ships_oil on canvas, 2018_950-W
Youichi Tanabe. Landscape with ships. Oil on canvas, 2018,   146 x 195 cm   (57,48 x 76,77 in)



Youichi-Tanabe_Priorat-Landscape_2011_Oil painting_24x19_cm
Youichi Tanabe, Priorat Landscape, Oil painting, 2011,  24 x19_cm  (9,45 x 7,48 in)


Youichi-Tanabe_Night-landscape-in-a-Priorat-garden_2011_Oil painting_27-x-22_cm
Youichi Tanabe, Night landscape in a Priorat garden, Oil painting, 2011,  27 x 22 cm  (10,62 x 8,66 in)

Youichi-Tanabe_Study-for-rain-cloud-over-the-hill_2014_Oil painting_33-x-24_cm
Youichi Tanabe, Study for rain cloud over the hill, Oil painting, 2014,  33 x 24 cm  (13 x 9,45 in)

Youichi-Tanabe_Woman-in-the-woods_2019_Oil painting_22-x-27_cm
Youichi Tanabe, Woman in the woods, Oil painting, 2019,   22 x 27 cm  (8,66 x 10,63 in)



Youichi Tanabe. Treetop with hidden birds, Oil painting, 2016,   54 x 73 cm.   ( 45,66 x 36,22 in.)     

youichi-tanabe_81x100cm-p1080119Youichi Tanabe. Big Tree with birds in the Lagoon, Oil painting, 2017,   81 x 100 cm.   (31,88 x 39,37 in.)    

Youichi-Tanabe_Birds-in-a-bush_2018_Oil painting_41-x-27_cmYouichi-Tanabe, Birds in a bush, Oil painting, 2018,   51 x 27_cm  (20 x 10,63 in)

Youichi Tanabe.  Man among Birds, Oil painting, 2017,    97 x 130 cm.    (38,19 x 51,18 in.)    

yoichi-tanabe_rain-forest_50x81cm_yt14_w2_p1070622 Youichi Tanabe. Tropical Rainforest, Oil painting, 2015



youichi-tanabe_landscape-with-mine_950_wYouichi Tanabe. Landscape with mine, Mixed media, 2006,  51 x 66 cm.  ( 20 x 26 in.)  Private collection

youichi-tanabe_after-the-deluge_950_wYouichi Tanabe. After the Deluge, Mixed media, 2006,  51 x 66 cm.   (20 x 26 in.)

youichi-tanabe_950_wYouichi Tanabe. Persons, Mixed media, 2004,  51 x 66 cm.  (20 x 26 in.) Private collection


Youichi’s thinking

“Since 2012 I am engaged in studying my work again, naturally through painting new works. Subject matter is almost the same like before: ships, landscapes with birds, flowers, etc.

If the history of fine art, particularly painting is a growing tree, there is a tall tree rising when we see the past (and maybe today). Every branch and all the leaves are great masters and many unknown painters, including the ones of Altamira or Lascoau. This tree rooted deep and the roots suck up water from the soil of the field.

After the Second World War, ist this tree still growing? Or is there no more growth? I am not sure about this. We are already in the epilogue of this long history.

I hope to walk near the tree a little more, and eagerly listen its murmur. It seems like an old artisan is looking for something, maybe a milestone somewhere on a foggy field. With a toolbox? Of course this is vital for the quality of his work.

I think what I just wrote about is too abstract and I continue painting with traditional materials, techniques and concept. Perhaps I only talked about an artisan spirit and he is only thinking while he is working.”


1949    Born in Kumamoto, Japan
1957    Moved to Tokyo
1972    Graduated from Waseda-University with a degree in political science
1974    Received a Master’s Degree in human anatomy for art from the Fine Art University of Tokyo.
1975-1978   Worked at the National Diet Library Tokyo
1979-1986   Six exhibitions of his work in Toky
1986-1988   Taught drawing at Bunka Fashion College Tokyo
1988   First exhibition of his work in Spain held in Barcelona
1989   Moved to Spain
1989-1990   22 exhibitions in Belguim, Denmark, Japan and Spain
1990-2014   Has shown his artwork fifteen times in the Art Fairs of Spain, Holland, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, China and Russia.


2018    Miramar Cultural Center, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
2013-2017  Patrons Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
2012    Tasneem Gallery.  Barcelona, Spain
2009    Tasneem Gallery.  Barcelona, Spain
2008    Biennale Internazionale dell’Arte Compemporanea, Città de Firenze
2004    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
2003    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
2002    Maria Salvat Gallery.  Barcelona, Spain
2000    Sala Magenta Gallery.  Vilanova I la Geltrú, Spain
1999    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
1999    Sala Magenta Gallery.  Vilanova I la Geltrú, Spain
1997    Kreisler Gallery.  Madrid, Spain
1996    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
1995    La Petit Galerie.  Brussels, Belgium
1994    Zenhid Gallery.  Madrid, Spain
1994    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
1992    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
1992    Lemia Art Gallery.  Sitges, Spain
1991    Tavira Gallery.  Bilbao, Spain
1991    SKY Art Gallery.  Tokyo, Japan
1991    Novart Gallery.  Madrid, Spain
1991    Elisa Cendrero Museum.  Ciudad Real, Spain
1990    Art Plaza Gallery.  Tokyo, Japan
1989    Yolanda Rios Gallery, Sala Cezanne.  Barcelona, Spain
1980-86     Six exhibitions in three Galleries. Tokio, Japan

    SHANGHAI Art Fair. China
2010    ARTGENÈVE. Geneva, Switzerland
2010    The 1st URAL Industrial Biennale. Ekaterinburg, Russia
2009    FLORENCE BIENNALE. Florence, Italy
2008    INDIA ART FAIR. New Delhi. India
2007    FLORENCE BIENNALE. Florence, Italy
2004    DEN HAAG. Holland
2004    ART SEVILLA, Spain
2003    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
2003    EXPO ARTESORIL. Portugal
2002    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
2001    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
2000    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
1999    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
1999    ART IBIZA. Spain  
1997    ARTEXPO. Barcelona, Spain
1994    “JapanskeKunstrere I Europa”, GL HOLTEGARD Museum, Denmark
1994    Art Santander ’94, Spain
1993    Art Santander ’93, Spain
1989    BIAF ’89 Barcelona, Spain
1989    Interarte ’89 Valencia, Spain