Published: March 16, 2004
The Honolulu Academy of Arts will present a landmark exhibition of paintings by European and Japanese Modernists in “Japan & Paris: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Modern Era,” April 8 through June 6 in the Henry R. Luce Gallery.
The academy will be the only venue anywhere in the world to show this spectacular group of more than 50 Impressionist, post-Impressionist, Cubist and other Modern masterpieces from 28 Japanese collections and one American collection. It will be the first exhibition in the West to focus on this area of art history. Many of these artworks have never been seen outside of Japan. It is also the first time a major exhibition of Impressionist art has been shown at the academy in the State of Hawaii.
An automated information service about the exhibition is available beginning March 15 at 808-532-8719. Please call this number during the normal museum hours for exhibition information, reservations and updates on special programming. Also beginning April 8, advance ticket sales in person will be available during the normal museum hours at the Academy Box Office, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4:30 pm, and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Special admission to the exhibition is set at $15 general; $10 for children 6-17; children 5 and under are admitted free of charge, however, no strollers or backpacks are permitted in the exhibition because of space limitations. Tickets are issued for a specific date and entry time and are nonrefundable and nontransferable. The audio tour is offered in both Japanese and English languages.
Public viewing hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm (except April 8 when the exhibition will close at 5 pm); and Sunday, 11 am to 5 pm.
Organized by the Honolulu Academy of Arts, “Japan & Paris: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Modern Era” will present masterpieces by such artists as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne. In addition, Japanese artists including Kume Keiichiro, Maeta Kanji, Mitsutani Kunishiro and Yorozu Tesugoro, who were instrumental to the introduction of Western modes of expression to Japan, will also be featured.
The exhibition is about how art and artists cross cultural barriers and how French art impacted Japanese art in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. “Japan & Paris” demonstrates the deep cross-cultural nature of art in Japan from about 1880 to 1930. A core group of paintings in the exhibition was among those acquired by the first Japanese collectors of Western modernism.
Among the progressive Japanese art enthusiasts who collected works at the beginning of the Twentieth Century was Hayashi Tadamasa, a Japanese art dealer who went to Paris in 1878 to develop a business exporting Japanese works of art to Western collectors. He became one of the first Japanese to collect Western art and return with it to Japan. Several paintings in the exhibition were originally in the possession of other passionate collectors such as Matsukata Kojiro, whose collection is the core of what are now housed in Tokyo at the National Museum of Western Art.
The exhibition has received loans from 28 Japanese museums and private collections and one American collection. Highlights include a sparkling depiction of St Tropez by Paul Signac from the Miyazaki Prefectural Art Museum; an elegant portrait by Modigliani from the Ise Foundation; a luminous depiction of a nude bather by Pierre-Auguste Renoir from the Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art; a Barbizon-influenced depiction of women gathering apples by Kume Keiichiro from the Kume Museum of Art, Tokyo; and a richly characterized portrait of a woman from the demi-monde by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec from the Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki.
The exhibition catalog, priced at $27.50 plus shipping and handling, has essays by leading American and Japanese scholars. It may be ordered online at www.honoluluacademy.org or by phone at 808-532-8703 or 800-829-5211.
The Academy will present three companion shows drawn from its own collections, “European Modernism, 1860-1930: Prints from the Academy’s Collection” in the Graphic Arts Gallery from March 25-June 20; “Art & Life in Paris & the Countryside: Impressionism/Post-Impressionism,” April 8-July 31 in the Education Wing Gallery; and “Influencing Paris: Japanese Prints Collected by European Collections” on view March 25-June 27 in the Asian Galleries.
“European Modernism” is curated by Jennifer Saville and will present color lithographs, etchings and woodcuts by Pierre Bonnard, Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
“Art & Life in Paris and the Countryside” will feature interactive components and is especially designed for children and school tours. The exhibition will investigate the lives and time of the prominent artists, their influences on one another and their distinctive styles of painting.
“Influencing Paris” is curated by the Academy’s curator of Asian art, Julia White. This exhibition will highlight some of the most famous prints of ukiyo-e (floating world) images, which dramatically influenced the greatest painters of the French Impressionist movement, including Claude Monet. As a complement to Japan & Paris, this show provides a different perspective on the influence of Japanese art on Impressionism. The Academy’s own collection of over 9,000 ukiyo-e is considered one of the finest in America.
For information, www.honoluluacademy.org or 808-532-8700.
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