Nov 12th 2010

Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence

@ Sullivan Galleries

33 S State St, 7, Chicago, IL 60603

Opening Friday, November 12th, from 6PM - 8PM

On view through Saturday, February 12th

Over the course of a half-century Ray Yoshida (1930-2009) was one of the most vital American artistic figures to emerge from the Midwest. His singular importance is due both to his art and his position as an educator and colleague at SAIC. Curated by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, this exhibition will be the first to examine Yoshida’s work and its relation to his life in this educational institution, while placing it historically at the crucial juncture of mid-century Chicago-a time of transition from an expressionist orientation to a pop idiom.

The core of this exhibition is a retrospective of Yoshida’s art featuring many works from the artist’s estate and seldom-seen pieces culled from a range of private and institutional collections. This exhibition also brings to light both Yoshida’s early comic collages of the late 1960s, his beloved abstractions of the 1970s, selections from Yoshida’s “bathrobe” period, as well as his figurative works from the 1980s-including Touch and Go, which lends its name. While the show comprises a chronological survey of Yoshida’s art, it departs from convention, as Yoshida did in life, by including works which highlight several major spheres of influence: his teachers at SAIC Kathleen Blackshear and Paul Wieghardt; his SAIC colleagues Ted Halkin, Whitney Halstead, Miyoko Ito, Thomas Kapsalis and Evelyn Statsinger; his contemporaries William Copley, Öyvind Fahlström, and Peter Saul; self-taught artists Martin Ramirez and Joseph Yoakum; and his SAIC students Mark Booth, Roger Brown, Brian Calvin, Sarah Canright, Jordan Davies, Ed Flood, Art Green, Philip Hanson, Richard Hull, Jim Nutt, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, William Schwedler, Rebecca Shore, Chris Ware, Karl Wirsum, and Mary Lou Zelazny, among others.

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