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The Art Gallery, Commons Gallery,
and the John Young Museum of Art
October 23 - December 4, 2022
The Art Gallery, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Art Building
Public reception: Sunday, November 13, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

The Art Gallery at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is proud to present “Tadashi Sato: Atomic Abstraction in the Fiftieth State, 1954–1963.” This exhibition examines the work of Tadashi Sato (1923–2005), one of the most significant and visible Hawaiʻi-born painters of the twentieth century. From early Precisionist-mentored studies celebrating urban life during the 1940s, to luminous large-scale abstract canvases of the 1950s, to monumental public art commissions, the show looks at Sato as an artist whose painting sprang from post-war aspirations towards modernity and democracy and whose unique position as a Japanese-American veteran born in Hawaiʻi gives us a greater understanding of the complexities of American identity during a decade of intense cultural change and transition. The first major exhibition of Sato’s works in over twenty years, the show features never-before-seen artworks and archival materials to demonstrate that Sato’s painting was the site of significant and ongoing public conversations in Hawaiʻi pitting abstraction against representation, debating the value of public art, and speculating on who audiences would be for art in the new state of Hawaiʻi.

The exhibition closely follows the early development of Sato’s painting leading up to his first major public commission, the 65-foot mural entitled Build Thee More Stately Mansions (1963) at the Maui War Memorial Center in Wailuku, Maui. The mural was destroyed and the majority of its known fragments are reunited for the first time in this show. A room within the show, “Tadashi Sato’s Circle: The Art of Hawaiʻi and the Image of Statehood, 1959,” contextualizes Sato by examining artwork made by his peers including Bumpei Akaji, Satoru Abe, Sueko Kimura, and Robert Kobayashi. This project draws on historical materials and critical perspectives to expand our knowledge of Abstract Expressionism beyond canonical artists to foreground the work of less well known practitioners, creating new art historical narratives for American postwar art.

Artist Bio
Born on Maui in the Territory of Hawaiʻi in 1923, Tadashi Sato volunteered to serve in the 442nd combat unit during World War II, then studied painting under the G.I. Bill with Ralston Crawford and Stuart Davis at the Honolulu School of Art, the Brooklyn Museum Art School and Pratt Institute. From 1958 onward, he was represented by the Willard Gallery, New York, where his exhibitions were reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America, The Christian Science Monitor, and other major publications of the era. Significant exhibitions include the Whitney Annual (1965), the White House Festival of the Arts (1965), and Tadashi Sato: A Retrospective at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI (2002). He was a founding member of Honolulu’s “Metcalf Chateau,” pioneers of modern art in Hawaiʻi. His work is included in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Hawaiʻi State Foundation for Culture and the Arts, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the Yale University Art Gallery. His best known work is Aquarius (1969), the 36-foot glass mosaic at the heart of the Hawaiʻi State Capitol in Honolulu, HI.

This exhibition was curated by Maika Pollack, Director and Chief Curator, John Young Museum of Art and University Galleries. Thanks to: Satoru Abe, Harry Tsuchidana, Gail Goto, Marianne Johnson, Juli Kimura, Kate Kobayashi, Misa Kobayashi, Cheryl Moore, Esta Nerney, Craig Ochikubo, Jon Ochikubo, Janice Shimamura, Grant Tsuchidana, Heidi Berman, Margery Bronster, Mrs. Donald Mark Chang, Herb and Nancy Conley, Peter Dods, Walter Dods, Mallory Fujitani, Mark Fukunaga, Dr. Clayton Honbo, Gussie and Rodney Medeiros, the Mukai Collection, Harry Oda, Dale Ruff and Rey Soriano, the Raymond "Sus" Sakamoto family, Roy and Denise Yamaguchi, Jon and Jan Yokouchi, and anonymous donors.

Hours + admission
Wednesday – Sunday 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. Free admission.
COVID-19: The campus is open to the public. No reservations required.
Parking fees may apply during weekday. Parking is free on Sundays. Directions
Information and dates are subject to change.
For more information please contact Sheika Alghezawi at 808.956.6888 and


1956 - 1970

September 28 - December 4, 2022,
John Young Museum of Art, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa is proud to present the first exhibition of Hawai'i-born artist Tetsuo Ochikubo (1923–1975) to focus exclusively on his extensive printmaking practice.

Address, Hours, Admission
John Young Museum of Art
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
2535 McCarthy Mall, Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822 (UH Mānoa campus)
Wed. – Sun. 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Free admission

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