On view from October 11, 2014 to January 4, 2015, ”Awakening” opens with a free reception on Friday, October 10, 6-8 pm
EUGENE, Ore. -- (September 18, 2014) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon presents “Ryo Toyonaga: Awakening,” the first major museum exhibition of the New York City-based contemporary artist. On view from October 11, 2014, to January 4, 2015, the exhibition surveys twenty years of ceramic and mixed-media sculpture, drawing, and painting and is accompanied by a series of programs.
Featuring the haunting, surreal work of Toyonaga, “Awakening” is organized by Lawrence Fong, the JSMA’s former curator of American and regional art. The exhibition opens with a free, public reception on Friday, October 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, October 11, at 2 p.m., the artist, Fong and historian, gallerist, and collector Helen Drutt English will lead a gallery talk.
On Saturday October 25, the Blue Box Ensemble, formerly the Tardis Ensemble, presents a concert on the theme of the grotesque at 3 p.m. Video artist Julia Oldham responds to the fantastic nature of Toyonaga’s work, with a Schnitzer Cinema screening of several of her short films on Wednesday, November 19, at 7 p.m.
In the context of Toyonaga’s fantastical compositions, Akiko Walley, assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, University of Oregon, explores the deeply personal yet curiously universal nature of Kusama Yoyoi's prints on Saturday, November 15, at 2 p.m. The programs close on Wednesday, December 3, at 5:30 p.m. when Alison Hawthorne Deming, professor of Creative Writing, University of Arizona, responds to Toyonaga’s work and discusses her new book “Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit.”
All programs are free of charge and open to the public.
The exhibition is comprised of nineteen medium and large-scale paintings and drawings and a companion survey of Toyonaga’s ceramic and papier-mâché sculpture. Accompanying the exhibition is a catalog featuring images of the work and essays by Fong, Drutt English, and art historian Suzanne Ramljak. The fully illustrated catalog discusses the artist’s early influences and reflections on modern and contemporary art as well as the evolution of his imaginative and interpretive powers.
Toyonaga was born in Matsuyama, Japan, in 1960, and earned his BA in psychology from the National University of Shinshu, Japan. He moved to New York City in 1986 and during the 1990s, Toyonaga worked exclusively in clay until expanding his work to include red wax in 2002, bronze and aluminum casting in 2004, and large-scale papier-mâché in 2005. In 2006, his artistic interest shifted to drawing and since 2010, Toyonaga has concentrated on large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas.
Support for “Ryo Toyonaga: Awakening” is provided by the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment, The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and JSMA members.
Exhibition Opening Reception: “Ryo Toyonaga: Awakening”
Friday, October 10, 6-8 p.m.
Gallery Talk with artist Ryo Toyonaga, curator Lawrence Fong, and historian, gallerist and collector Helen Drutt English
Saturday, October 11, 2 p.m.
Blue Box Ensemble Concert: “The Grotesque”
Saturday, October 25, 3 p.m.
In a special concert to complement “Ryo Toyonaga: Awakening,” the Blue Box Ensemble (formerly the Tardis Ensemble) presents a concert on the theme of the grotesque. The Blue Box Ensemble is a chamber music collective founded in 2011 with the purpose of engaging audiences through thematic programs that explore distinct time periods, countries, or genres. Ensemble members are Sophia Tegart (flute), Catherine Lee (oboe), Helena Kopchick Spencer (bassoon), Casey Bozell (violin), Holland Phillips (violin/viola), Clark Spencer (viola), and Valdine Ritchie Mishkin (cello).
Lecture: “Floating in Her Lemon Juice: The Concept of ‘Infinity’ in Kusama Yayoi's Prints”
Saturday, November 15, 2 p.m.
Though Kusama Yayoi's prints are not as renowned as her other works, she regards print as an essential medium of self-expression. In the context of Ryo Toyonaga’s fantastical compositions, Akiko Walley, assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture explores the deeply personal yet curiously universal nature of Kusama's prints.
Lecture: “Encountering the Animal”
Wednesday, December 3, 5:30 p.m.
Alison Hawthorne Deming, professor of Creative Writing, University of Arizona
From the earliest cave art to the work of Ryo Toyonaga, animals inspire wonder, reflection and invention. Alison Hawthorne Deming will respond to the exhibition “Ryo Toyonaga: Awakening” and read from her new book “Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit.”
About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art based in a major university setting. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public. The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries. The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association of Museums.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.
Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942, email@example.com
Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, http://jsma.uoregon.edu