A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Kuo, James K. Y.

Other Names: 郭光遠


"James Kuo was born amid the gardens and canals of Suzhou, China in 1920 and, with encouragement from his father, studied at the Suzhou Art Institute and the Anqing School of Art. A direct inheritor of ink painting traditions, he left the political upheavals of China and came to the US in 1947 and received a master's degree in painting from the University of Missouri in 1949. He taught in Mt. Mary College in Milwaukee and the China Institute in NY before teaching for thirty seven years at Rosary Hill, now called Daemen College in Snyder, NY. He worked in ceramics and jewelry but primarily in painting for which he is best known, exhibiting at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Gallery Without Walls now the More-Rubin Gallery in Buffalo, receiving prizes in 1962 and 1965 at the Chautauqua National Exhibition of American Art. A devoted teacher who was highly respected, he was influenced by Shih-t'ao and Chu Ta, the 'Individualists' who became monks in 17th Century China as well as American abstract expressionists. His bold brush strokes of flat muted colors could be very abstract but never far from the natural world. His passing in 1995 leaves behind a painterly world of lyric balance."

Robert Lee, Asian American Arts Centre

Gallery of Selected Works