Manabu Mabe

Manabu Mabe's artistic journey unfolds against the backdrop of his upbringing in Kumamoto, Japan, where he was born on September 14, 1924, to Soichi and Haru Mabe. The family's migration to Brazil in 1934, seeking opportunities in the coffee plantations of Lins, São Paulo, marked the beginning of Mabe's immersion into the rich tapestry of landscapes that would later influence his artistry. It was during his formative years amidst the verdant fields, particularly on rainy days, that Mabe found solace and inspiration in capturing the natural beauty of his surroundings through painting.

As Mabe matured, his passion for art deepened, leading him to embark on a journey of self-discovery through the exploration of art books and magazines in 1941. Guided by the expertise of painter and photographer Teisuke Kumasaka in 1945, Mabe honed his craft, mastering the techniques of canvas preparation and paint dilution. These foundational skills would form the bedrock of his artistic expression, allowing him to translate his unique vision onto the canvas.

The turning point in Mabe's artistic development came in 1951 when he encountered works from the esteemed Paris School at the 1st International Biennial of São Paulo. This encounter ignited a transformative shift in his approach to art, propelling him towards abstraction and away from the geometric forms of his earlier works influenced by cubism. By 1959, Mabe's abstract compositions garnered critical acclaim, earning him the prestigious Leirner Prize for Contemporary Art and catapulting him into the international spotlight, with TIME Magazine dubbing him "The Year of Manabu Mabe." His artistic development continued to flourish, earning him further accolades such as the "Best National Painter Award" at the 5th International Biennial of São Paulo and the "Fiat Prize" at the Venice Biennale in 1960.

Mabe's legacy transcended borders, with his works featured in solo and group exhibitions across Latin America, Europe, Japan, and the United States, cementing his status as a seminal figure in Brazil's vibrant art scene.