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Art Museum plays host to first U.S. exhibition of Oscar Oiwa

September 27, 2006

The ASU Art Museum will present the first U.S. exhibition of paintings by Oscar Oiwa, the Brazilian-born artist of Japanese heritage who is among the most accomplished painters recording the impact of globalization on society. “Gardening with Oscar Oiwa” runs from Oct. 14-Feb. 13, with an opening reception with the artist scheduled for 6-8 p.m., Oct. 13.

The exhibition includes nine paintings of scenes of cities on the precarious edge of oblivion, presented in modules 90 inches tall by 45 inches wide. Oiwa is influenced by Japanese art and architecture, and Western art in various forms, including Anselm Keifer, Claude Monet and science-fiction films. His imagery reflects the passive acceptance of change and the gradual deformation of the environment, especially of cities.

“Oiwa is not the first artist to record the impact of globalization but is among the most accomplished, not only for his considerable skill as a painter but for the complexity of his view of the transformations that have occurred as a result of unbridled human ambition,” says Marilyn Zeitlin, the ASU Art Museum's director and chief curator. “His paintings have a lingering lyricism, suggesting that beauty persists in spite of what humankind has done to obliterate it.”

Oiwa, a native of São Paulo, Brazil , has lived in Tokyo and London , and he now lives in New York . He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2002 and made his debut at the 1991 São Paulo International Biennial at the age of 25. That same year, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of São Paulo 's School of Architecture and Urbanism.

Playing host to Oiwa's first U.S. exhibition falls within the ASU Art Museum 's mission to interpret, exhibit and document Latin-American contemporary art that engages global issues. The subject of Oiwa's work also ties into the museum's “ New American City ” exhibition, which continues through Jan. 27.