Composition #1 by Satoru Abe
Local legendary artist Satoru Abe will unveil his latest small sculptures at the Hawai’i State Art Museum’s (HiSAM) Artizen Café Gallery on Dec 2, at Across Generations, a show featuring Abe, Hamilton Kobayashi, and Kainoa Gruspe. The opening reception, from 5-7 PM, coincides with First Friday, so HiSAM will be open and entertainment will be provided upstairs.
The small sculptures are an entirely new concept for Abe. “I started grouping my sculptures together, and was surprised at how interesting the compositions could be! I’m at the point where I just want to surprise myself,” exclaimed Abe, who continues to work in his Kaimuki studio daily. Abe has historically presented more singular forms, but had recently begun to experiment with arranging shapes in combinations and clusters.
The show will feature 15 of Abe’s new sculptures, as well as new paintings by Kobayashi and Gruspe—all of which will be for sale through the duration of the exhibition. There is a limit, however, of only one sculpture per customer, due to the high demand from collectors.
Presented by the Friends of HiSAM, the exhibition is generously supported by Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. “Across Generations is consistent with Alexander &Baldwins’s story, as we are a company with a history and commitment to Hawaii that spans generations,” said Christopher Benjamin, President and Chief Executive Officer of A&B, Inc., who is also an avid art collector.
Satoru Abe (b 1926), is a noted abstract sculptor and painter, earning titles ranging from “Living Treasure” to “Hawaii’s Art Godfather,” with public works throughout Hawaii and in Japan. Moving to New York in 1948, he earned the Guggenheim fellowship in 1963 before returning to Honolulu in 1970. Abe has been a monumental presence and mentor in the art community, not only with his works, but also with his support and generosity. “I hope my participation will help Kobayashi and Gruspe, both very talented, further.” says Abe.
Hamilton Kobayashi (b 1951), graduated with a BFA from the University of Hawaii, painting passionately under the tutelage of Ben Norris. To support his family, he gave up painting to focus on his framing business, which he ran for more than thirty years. When he befriended Abe, his passion for painting was reignited. Today, Kobayashi’s works continue to masterfully capture the power and energy of Hawaii’s ever changing land and seascape.
Kainoa Gruspe (b 1995), is a painter living and working in Honolulu. His paintings explore boredom and indifference in a world increasingly saturated with spectacle and stimuli. He is currently earning his BFA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Says Abe, “Kainoa is the future.”
Makapu‘u Shoreline by Hamilton Kobayashi
A Girl by Kainoa Gruspe