Whitney Museum of American Art buys print suite by KU professor

Sunday, May 18, 2003

— The Whitney Museum of American Art has purchased a 12-print suite of lithographs, "Yellow no Same," by Roger Shimomura, distinguished professor of performance and painting at Kansas University.

Shimomura's paintings, print and theater pieces address social and political issues of Asian America and have often been inspired by 56 years of diaries kept by his late immigrant grandmother.

In "Yellow no Same," he uses Pop Art, comic-book style figures to explore contradictions behind the thousands of Japanese-American citizens who were sent to internment camps during World War II, including members of his family.

The museum bought the lithographs in April from Greg Kucera Gallery, the gallery that represents Shimomura in Seattle. He also is represented by Jeffrey Hoffeld & Company, Inc., New York City; Jan Cicero Gallery, Chicago; and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami.

Shimomura received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and his graduate degree from Syracuse University. His paintings and prints have hung in more than 100 solo exhibitions, and he has presented experimental theater pieces at venues such as the Franklin Furnace, New York City; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

He has received four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in painting and performance art, a McKnight Fellowship and a Civil Liberties Public Education Fellowship. He was the first artist internationally to be awarded a Japan Foundation grant and the first in the state to receive the Kansas Arts Commission Artist Fellowship in Painting.

Shimomura is working on a new series of six lithographs and one large lithograph. They are being published and printed by The Lawrence Lithography Workshop in Kansas City. These works, along with new paintings, will be shown in solo exhibitions in Kansas City and Seattle during the upcoming year.