This exhibition, drawn primarily from HMA’s collection but supplemented with some loans, will focus on themes of nature (landscape, seascape, animals, birds, insects, flowers, etc.) as artists have depicted them, ranging from “naturalistic” representations to images that are unnatural in terms of color or activity to others that are surreal in the way they alter appearances and expectations.  The exhibition will be roughly divided into sections dealing with individual subjects.  In each section I am aiming to incorporate a few historical works from earlier periods to juxtapose with the contemporary works.  The only rule I’ve set for myself is that the images should not show any humans or overt evidence of human culture.

The two entry areas for Gallery 27 will start with fairly straightforward subjects, waterscapes on the Ewa end and landscapes on the Diamond Head end.  The water section will include works ranging from Joseph Raffael’s Water Painting IV, which is almost photorealistic, to Robert Motherwell’s Untitled from his Beside the Sea series, an abstraction based on a perceived experience.  Other works will be Nathan Oliveira’s Seascape, Bill Jacobson’s photograph of water, as well as Suzanne Caporael’s painting, We Forgot the Ending of the subject, Pat Steir’s print Long Vertical Fall #2 and a Japanese hanging scroll of a waterfall, next to Bryan Hunt’s waterfall drawing.

The landscape area will begin with Claudio Bravo’s drawing of rocks paired with Linda Connor’s Rocks, Ka’u Desert, Hawaii photograph then move on to a selection of American landscape drawings from the late 19th and early 20th century and contemporary works by Tom Uttech, Masami Teraoka (Pali Lookout watercolor), Neil Welliver, Michael Mazur, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Donald Sultan, Robert Lobe, Llyn Foulkes, Allyn Bromley, Satoru Abe, and others.  Works on paper will be rotated midway through the exhibition.

As one enters the middle section of the gallery there will be a large section of works on wild life.  A wall of dog images in all media will include works by William Wegman, Ed Ruscha, Esther Shimazu, Marvin Israel, Gwyn Murrill,  Jean Dubuffet, Michael Mazur, a Han dynasty tomb figure of a dog, and a ceramic figure of a dog from Veracruz in ancient Mexico, among others.

Another se

ction will be about cats, particularly big cats (e.g. lions) and will retain the Melissa Miller painting Leopard’s Dance which is on view in Serious Fun paired with the two inlaid late 18th- early 19th-century marble sculptures attributed to Francesco Franzoni and the Antoine-Louis Barye bronzes of a walking tiger and walking lion.  A bronze sculpture of a bobcat or cougar by Gwyn Murrill will also appear  in this section, along with a drawing by Gaylen Hansen showing an oversized cat playing with a small human figure in its paws (the only human in the show and only because the human is being subjugated by the cat).  Beth Cavener Stichter’s huge ceramic goat wall sculpture which is mechanized so that air blows from the mouth of the goat and moves a pinwheel will be on view for the first time (she will be a visiting artist for Hawaii Craftsmen’s Aha Hana Lima workshops next March).  I will also include Joey Chiarello’s newly-completed tiger sculpture.  Another wall with be about birds, with paintings by Hunt Slonem, Rebecca Morales, and Walton Ford.  An alcove will have works of deer, including HMA’s newly acquired painting by Cindy Wright of a slain deer, David True’s metaphysical/mystical depiction of a deer in a canoe, and sculptures by Ken Little and Sherry Markovitz.

The cube space will have an installation combining works about snakes and insects (keeping the “ick” factor contained and a surprise experience).  Snakes by Robert Stackhouse and Luis Jimenez will be shown in the context of an installation by Maui artist Michael Takemoto of hundreds of life-size rubber cockroaches roaming over the floor and walls.  A huge sculpture of an ant will be high up on the wall near the cube.  Outside the cube will be works showing monkeys, ranging from Donald Roller Wilson’s Holly’s Head was Getting Hot, John Alexander’s Monkey Choking a Chicken, Melissa Miller’s Baboon in Leopard Cape, and Nancy Carman’s sculpture Monkey with Roses, to a Japanese hanging scroll.

I’m also trying to incorporate a section on flowers and plants (which may rotate in to replace some works on paper in the landscape section).  Works in this category would include a section of Thomas Woodruff’s Apple Canon that shows apples with roses, a watercolor by Patricia Tobacco Forrester, a painted bronze sculpture of a Magnolia branch by David Bates, and the painting of peonies by Henri Fantin-Latour.