George Miyasaki: Circles (1958 – 1964)
|When||30 May 2020 - 30 Jun 2020|
|Where||Ryan Lee Gallery
515 West 26th Street Floor 3
New York, NY 10001
RYAN LEE Gallery is pleased to present George Miyasaki: Circles (1958 – 1964), a selection of his prints and painting spanning six years. Miyasaki (b. 1935 – d. 2013) was a Hawaiian-born artist of Japanese descent who made major contributions to the Bay area art scene as an artist and educator. His legacy is only finally getting its due, most recently with the installation of his painting Big Medicine (1982) in the permanent collection galleries of the SF MOMA and an inclusion in Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
The symbol of the circle emerged as an important iconography in Miyasaki’s work during a transitional period of his career, in which he broke free of the gestural abstraction that had come to define his experimental compositions. Via his treatment of the circle motif and his choice of titling in his early 1960′s work, it is easy to see how Miyasaki played with the symbol’s simultaneous connotations with themes of universality and specificity.
In celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Miyasaki’s use of the circle becomes an appropriate symbol to explore the issues surrounding art and identity. The circular shapes in his work both interpellate and unify Miyasaki’s multiple identities as an artist, a native of Hawai’i, an academic and an American of Japanese descent. It points to Miyasaki as an artist in flux, whose work could not be defined by a single movement nor a single clear-cut narrative thread. Though as an individual, he is a powerful figure in terms of representation for Asian Americans in the art world, the strength and importance of his work are – and were designed to be – universal.
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