“IGAS Prints, I and II”

Honolulu Academy of Arts

One of the dullest shows to hit this Isle community in a long time is a selection of prints by International Graphic Arts Society of New York members. Touted by the local museum as “highly successful in Japan” (from where the exhibition’s returning), the prints are a potpourri of conservative Cubism, Surrealism, Primitivism and Expressionism. Nowhere is the excitement of experimentation of print techniques evident (as recently discussed in an article on Los Angeles’ Talierand Workshop, Art News, Jan. ’62).

The problems of an Island art museum are many, and perhaps the most acute is obtaining top-notch shows. Insurance costs are high, danger of transportation damage is greater, and works have to be away longer. Sometimes the Academy must take what it can get. Yet, the length of exhibition time could have been cut once the mediocre calibre of the work was seen (Part II runs through Sept. 2).

National demarcations are sadly lacking here. Although such divergent nationalities as Yugoslavian, Cuban, Dutch, Swiss, English, Danish, etc. are included it all adds up to a watered-down, kaleidoscope viewing of recent abstract trends.

Offsetting this somewhat is the truly stunning crystal-and-gold 18th-century French chandelier recently installed in the Academy’s Gallery 7. Its delicate raindrop effect makes it one of the Academy’s handsomest ornaments, reflecting the elegance of the French Decorative Arts Gallery (17th and 18th centuries) in which it is hung. Recently purchased from a Milan, Italy art collection, research is still underway by the museum staff to determine the artist and further stylistic particulars.

Joanna Shaw Eagle