Jerry Okimoto, Japanese/American (1924 - 1998)

Jerry T. Okimoto was a Japanese-American artist who was born in Waianae, Hawaii. He is best known for his works consisting of several solidly colored, geometrically shaped pieces of stretched canvas fitted together to form a single work. In some of these works, the individual stretched canvases are moveable and are intended to be rearranged. Since many of these works are essentially two-dimensional, they challenge the distinction between painting and sculpture. Along with Satoru Abe, Bumpei Akaji, Edmund Chung, Tetsuo Ochikubo, James Park, and Tadashi Sato, Okimoto was a member of the Metcalf Chateau, a group of seven Asian-American artists with ties to Honolulu.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Michelson Museum of Art (Marshall, Texas), the University of Michigan Museum of Art (Ann Arbor, Michigan), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) are among the public collections holding work by Jerry Okimoto. Jerry Okimoto died in 1998.

Working in raw wood with only basic hand tools, Jerry Okimoto, a Japanese-American sculptor who is artist-in-residence at the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, turns out large-scale vase and bowl forms, and labyrinthine wall pieces in which plays of light and shade are created by surfaces of varying relief. The bowls are made of highly polished laminated strips, occurring in different natural shapes, and in some the surface is broken at various intervals by bands of openwork. They are very handsome, contemplative objects that don't entirely escape a certain decorative effect.


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