Frank Taira (1913 - 2010): The Color Inside

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Mar 20113 May 201129

Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery
7 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93101
United States

SULLIVAN GOSS – An American Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s first exhibition from the estate of Japanese American artist FRANK TAIRA (1913 - 2010). On view March 3 through May 29, 2011, this exhibition features nine paintings from the mid 1950s to the mid 1970s – an era in which the classically trained artist experimented avidly with Orphism – a form of Cubism preoccupied with color. On display are seven important paintings of Taira’s experiments with abstraction.  Another highlight of the exhibition will be a 1957 self-portrait.
Frank Moriihiko Taira was born in San Francisco to Japanese parents in 1913.  When they decided to return to Japan, Taira stayed behind – working his way through high school.  He studied at the California School of Fine Arts, instructed by leading lights Victor Arnautoff, Otis Oldfield, and the director of the school, Lee Randolph. He exhibited at a juried show at the San Francisco Museum of Art, and was invited to prepare a one-man show at the San Francisco Museum of Art.
In 1942, Taira’s world would forever change with Roosevelt’s executive order 9066T: mandating the internment of Japanese Americans to “relocation camps.”  Taira, a US citizen, along with 120,000 ethnic Japanese people, were held in internment camps for the duration of the war. None of Taira’s work from before this period survived. While confined, he taught art at the Topaz Interment Camp alongside Chiura Obatta, Matsusaburo (George) Hibi, and Mine Okubo.
Upon his release, Mr. Taira moved to New York, never again to live in California. He studied at Columbia University, the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research. His paintings have been exhibited at galleries, the National Academy of Design, the Salamagundi Club, the First International Biennale in 1998, and the Florence (Italy) Biennale Internazionale Bell'Arte Contemporanea in 2001.
Taira’s body of work reflects his journey as a marginalized minority trying to personalize the Modern art being made around him in the New World. It tells the story of hidden struggle and the triumph of being rediscovered just years before the end of his life.


sullivangoss . Last modified Feb 20, 2011 10:15 a.m.

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