HARRY TSUCHIDANA in his studio

HARRY TSUCHIDANA artwork on paper


August 26 – October 5, 2018
The Art Gallery at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Special events:

Sunday, August 26
2-3pm, Talk story with Harry Tsuchidana
3-5pm, Opening reception

The artist will also be in the gallery on Tuesday, August 28
session 1 : 2-245pm
session 2 : 3-345pm

Exhibition Summary:
More than eighty diverse drawings and paintings on paper are featured in the exhibition Harry Tsuchidana: Works on Paper, on view at The Art Gallery, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM). Although this esteemed living artist has produced an incredible volume of works over the course of his decades-long career and has received much-deserved attention in solo and group exhibitions for his paintings on canvas or board, this is only the second presentation that foregrounds his works on paper. The previous exhibition was held thirty years ago at Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Graphic Arts Gallery.

Rod Bengston, previous gallery director, UHM, selected the works in this exhibition. In conversations with Tsuchidana, Bengston identified seventeen themes and expressions—some of which the artist returned to over and over again throughout decades of his investigations. A selection of Bengston’s notes and observations accompanies the sections in the exhibition.

Recent UHM alumni are also contributing to this exhibition. Joelle Takayama (BFA, 2018) is creating a dynamic fifteen-foot long drawing that portrays the essence of Tsuchidana’s studio. Liezel Bagay (BFA, 2018) is the graphic designer of the accompanying forty-page exhibition catalogue.

Artist Statement:
It’s about the process, not about hitting the target. If you hit the target you are lost.
–Harry Tsuchidana, 2018

Artist Info:
Harry Tsuchidana (b. 1932, Waipahu, O‘ahu) considers himself to be a part of the international modernist art movement. At eighty-six years old, he still wakes at 6:00 a.m. every morning for a full day’s work diligently solving “equations” regarding line, form, color, and composition in his studio situated adjacent to his apartment.

Tsuchidana was among a cohort of young artists from Hawai‘i who found their way to New York in the mid-twentieth century. Along with Satoru Abe, Bumpei Akaji, Ralph Iwamoto, Keichi Kimura, Robert Kobayashi, Sueko Matsueda Kimura, Tetsuo Ochikubo, Jerry Okimoto, and Tadashi Sato, the artists found friendship and support, with Isami Doi serving as their mentor.

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps (1952–55), Tsuchidana chose to utilize his G.I. Bill for an art education. He first attended the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C., (1955–56), then went to New York City to study at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and later at the Pratt Institute School of Art (1957¬–59). Employed as a night watchman at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, Tsuchidana had the chance to view and study the masterworks over many evenings. Eventually, he felt that he was having conversations with those artists about their works. Tsuchidana also worked in MoMA’s mailroom where he opened a thank you card made with crayons from Pablo Picasso following the exhibition, Picasso: 75th Anniversary.

Tsuchidana received a John Hay Whitney Fellowship (1959). He has participated in numerous exhibitions over his long career. Tsuchidana had his first solo exhibition at the Library of Hawaii (1955), and most recently presented his work in Harry Tsuchidana: A Retrospective, the Honolulu Museum of Arts’ First Hawaiian Center (2016), and Abstract Expressionism: Looking East from the Far West, the Honolulu Museum of Art (2017–18).

Address, Hours, + Admission:
University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery
2535 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu (UH Mānoa campus)
Mon. – Fri. 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Sun. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Saturdays; Sept. 3, Labor Day.
Free admission. Donations are appreciated.
Parking fees may apply.