Chinese Imposter #5
54" x 54"
acrylic on canvas
Courtesy of the Artist
Son of a Gun #16
24" x 17" x 6"
160 offset-printed pages, PVA glue
Plexiglas, and linen-backed aluminum
Courtesy of the Artist
Click images for detailed view.
Two New Shows Opening on October First Friday at Belger Arts Center
October 7, 2016 - January 21, 2017
Opening Reception, Friday, October 7, 2016, 6-9 PM
Belger Arts Center
2100 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64108
This fall we will focus on a local hero – the legendary Roger Shimomura. Shimomura taught at the University of Kansas from 1969 until his retirement in 2004. In addition to an outstanding career as an educator, Shimomura has maintained a steady art studio practice and exhibited in more 130 exhibitions. He has won numerous awards throughout this career, including a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Our new exhibit, An American Knockoff, comes to us from the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, which has a long history with Roger. The show will run October 7, 2016, through January 14, 2017. It will highlight Roger as a painter, with more than two dozen acrylic works on canvas. Throughout the exhibit you will see Shimomura on canvas with recognizable American icons such as Porky Pig, Goofy the Dog, and Uncle Sam. (Roger's output as a printmaker is also impressive, including many lithographs that were created at Lawrence Lithography Workshop on the second floor of the Belger Crane Yard Studios).
Shimomura was born in Seattle, to two American-born parents, but his family was relocated to an internment camp during World War II, when Roger was three-years-old. For much of his career Shimomura has revisited the internment and what it meant to his family. The camp, Minidoka, was in Idaho and included armed guards in towers and fencing topped with razor-wire. The diary of Roger's grandmother, Toku, who was incarcerated along with the rest of Roger's immediate family, has been instrumental when Shimomura has searched for inspiration over the years.
Concurrently on First Friday we'll open Dimensions and the Space Between featuring about a dozen artworks from the Belger Collection. When you look at artwork it usually registers right away as either a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object, but not always. For this exhibition we looked through the Belger Collection and chose work that made us question “Is this 2D, or 3D, or both?”
If a piece has multiple components, how do you determine how to arrange them in space? Sometimes an artist gives specific instructions for display, other times it is left up to the gallery to figure that out. One of our favorite interactions along these lines came in 2009 when we did an exhibit with El Anatsui. El sent specific instructions regarding three of his metal tapestries. A hand-written note in the crate holding the tapestries said, “I want these to look different everywhere they go, so hang them any way you want.” Among the artwork we chose for Dimensions, are three of the newest acquisitions in the Belger Collection. These pieces by Los Angeles artist Matthew Monahan are from Matthew's “Son of a Gun” series and began as 116 pages of printed paper. The pages were assembled into a stack and then shot with a bullet from a .45 Colt. Does the decision to use a gun to create art bring yet another dimension to the project?