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Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence

Ray Yoshida, Untitled, c. 1970, Oil on canvas, 46" x 40", Courtesy of the Estate of Ray Yoshida
Ray Yoshida, Untitled, c. 1970, Oil on canvas, 46" x 40", Courtesy of the Estate of Ray Yoshida
Courtesy of the Estate of Ray Yoshida

Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence
November 13, 2010-February 12, 2011
Reception: Friday, November 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Sullivan Galleries

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.

This retrospective features works from the artist's estate-many on view for the first time-beginning with early, Pre-Imagist works on paper created subsequent to Yoshida receiving his BFA from SAIC in 1953. Alongside this chronological view, the show incorporates works by other artists, highlighting several major spheres of influence: Yoshida's teachers Kathleen Blackshear and Whitney Halstead; his colleagues Ted Halkin, Miyoko Ito, Thomas Kapsalis, and Evelyn Statsinger; his contemporaries Peter Saul, William Copley and Oyvind Fahlström; and his students which he influenced and with whom he remained open to their influence, as seen through works by Roger Brown, Jim Nutt, Christina Ramberg, Karl Wirsum, among others. Where many teachers retain a master-apprentice relationship, Yoshida came to consider his pupils as colleagues. Thus, this exhibition offers a chance to look at the give-and-take, the "touch and go," of this remarkable artist's generous and voracious exchange with the artists that surrounded him.

In addition, the first collaboration between the SAIC's Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies and the Art Institute of Chicago's Department of Contemporary Art, will result in a concurrent presentation of Yoshida's work will be on view in the Modern Wing from 12 November 2010-8 May 2011.

"Touch and Go" at SAIC's Sullivan Galleries exhibition is supported in part by the Estate of Ray Yoshida, with additional contributions from Ruth Horwich and Cleve Carney.

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