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Pictorialist’s Art of ‘20s-'30s at Japanese Center

An exhibit that evokes a long-gone era of Japanese culture opens May 21 at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.

“The Photography of Teikoh Shiotani,” through July 12, features 53 images from the ‘20s and ‘30s by the Japanese pictorialist whose images have been compared to those of Jacques Henri-Lartigue.

“The show contains mostly landscapes and genre scenes,” said Robert Hori, director of the center’s Doizaki Gallery. “Shiotani was from Tottori Prefecture, a province on the coast, so there are a lot of scenes of fishing and the sea. The area also featured large sand dunes, which he photographed.”

Shot in soft focus, many of the sepia-toned pictures look like etchings, Hori said.

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“They are very nostalgic and I think the many older Japanese-Americans living here will appreciate that feeling. There’s a sense of a Japan that doesn’t exist anymore, an agrarian and pre-industrial Japan. There’s a serenity that you don’t see nowadays.”

Shiotani’s works fell into obscurity until the early 1980s when interest in Pictorialism was renewed. However, toward the end of his career, he received highest honors at Photokina, a major international photographic exhibition, which won the artist recognition as a world-class photographer, Hori said.

REBUILDING: Pauli DeWitt has been named executive director of the Woman’s Building. She succeeds Terry Wolverton, who recently resigned to write a book.

DeWitt, who assumed the post this week, was executive director of the Napa County Arts Council and previously associated with the Oklahoma Arts Council.

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“DeWitt had all the different kinds of expertise we were looking for, a long history in arts management and a real effervescence and enthusiasm for the position,” said Wolverton.

JUST LIKE NEW: Eight artists have been awarded $500 each to restore their murals in the Emergency Relief Fund for Mural Restoration sponsored by the Social and Public Art Resource Center. The artists are Wallace (Rip) Cronk, Larry Gruda, Arthur Mortimer, Frank Romero, Ann Thierman, Richard Wyatt, Emily Cordova and Henry Brown III.

ON THE AIR: The Museum of Contemporary Art is broadcasting its experimental radio series, “The Territory of Art,” over station KCRW-FM (89.9) through the summer on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

The radio programs, most of which have been previously aired, are half-hour performances of contemporary music, poetry, comedy, drama and various forms of “audio art” such as poetic collages of language, music and sound. They are created by painters, poets, playwrights, actors, dancers, composers, musicians and other artists.

Some upcoming programs include “Border-X-Frontera,” on Tuesday, by Gomez-Pena and David Schein; “Catalyst to an Image,” on May 23, by four photographers; and “Song of Lawino,” on May 30, based on the poetry of Okot p’Bitek.

A series of new radio works will be broadcast on KCRW beginning in October.

STUDY HARD: The J. Paul Getty Trust has awarded another round of research grants and fellowships to 22 art history and humanities scholars from around the world. Fifteen scholars who received their doctorates within the past six years were each awarded $23,000 fellowships for a year of research and writing. Seven scholars who are beyond the postdoctoral level received 1989 grants of varying amounts to pursue advanced research projects.

In the former category, the America-based winners are Hilary Ballon, S. Shelby Brown, Renee K. George Burnam, Elizabeth Childs-Johnson, Maribeth Graybill, Susanne Kuechler, Mary Linda, David Lubin, Jann Matlock, Mary Pardo, Nancy Stieber, Joan Weinstein and Jean Wilson. Foreign winners in this category are Helene Eristov of France and Jill Lloyd of London.

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In the latter category, the American-based winners are Mieke Bal, Thomas Mathews, Jeffrey Meikle, Anthony Molho, Barbara Stafford and Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt. The foreign winner is Eve Blau of Canada.


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