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Noboru Foujioka, American Spirit, c.1926

Shown on the far right in the group photo (Fig. 52) is “American Spirit.” This work was exhibited at the Independent Artists Exhibition in 1926. The New York Shimpo (New York Times) describes the work of Noboru Fujioka as follows, This artist, who abducts people from the street and boldly depicts them, is certainly one of the most unique artists in
the exhibition. He is full of life and vitality. His “The American Spirit” is already well known, and his most skillful use of black color is seen in “Subway Afternoon” and his witty portrayal of human beings in “Charleston.” (Shimizu) The “Subway Afternoon” and “Charleston” have made significant progress. In recent years,” said Shimizu, “the works have become more authoritative, as seen in the American Spirit, which made a stir at last spring’s Independence Exhibition. The works have become richer in both color and content. The gloomy, underground atmosphere is well expressed in his works. While young painters tend to be too candid in their approach, he lacks this, which is why we can say that he has a strong individuality”(Watanabe) (“Review of the Art Exhibition,” The New York Shimpo, February 23, 1927).