Inner Scapes

Posted on Sep 3, 2013 in Blog Post, Exhibitions, Hawaii State Art Museum, Past Exhibitions
The Shores of Nanakuli by John Kjargaard Collage, 1968; 36-1/4" x 36"

The Shores of Nanakuli
by John Kjargaard
Collage, 1968; 36-1/4″ x 36″

Inner Scapes

September 16, 2004 – February 27, 2005

“Inner Scapes” presented abstract paintings and sculptures selected from the Art in Public Places Collection. This exhibition traced the influences and trends of Abstract Expressionism from a regional perspective, bringing Hawai`i abstract traditions up to the present. The works were inspired by the many facets of nature – vast landscapes, a sense of place, bodies of water, passage of time, the kinetic quality of light, changing seasons, man’s relation to the cosmos, and the elements.

Abstraction transformed the artistic expression of the 20th century. During and after World War II, European artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, Piet Mondrian, and Hans Hofmann relocated to the United States, settling in New York City. These modern artists influenced American painters and sculptors to depart from representational or realistic traditions to discover new means of expression.

With a new vision, in the 1940s and 1950s American artists such as Jackson Pollock, William De Kooning, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, and Helen Frankenthaler explored a freer and more personal way of seeing in the collective movement that became known as Abstract Expressionism. Hawai‘i artists were influenced by these American and European trends. In fact, many Hawai‘i based artists such as Isami Doi, Tetsuo Ochikubo, Tadashi Sato, Harry Tsuchidana, and Reuben Tam spent time in New York City from the 1930s through the 1960s. These local artists later returned home having been deeply influenced with the language of abstraction. Inner Scapes traced these influences and trends from a regional perspective, bringing Hawai‘i abstract traditions up to the present.