Masami Teraoka: The Last Supper/The Inversion of the Sacred
Catharine Clark Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition by Masami Teraoka: The Last Supper/The Inversion of the Sacred. Presented in the Media Room is Chris Doyle’s Apocalypse Management (telling about being one being living). The exhibition dates are October 2 – November 13, 2010. Mr. Teraoka will be present for the opening reception on Saturday, October 2, 5–7 pm.
Masami Teraoka first attracted attention with his early work—watercolor paintings that fused traditional images in the style of Japanese, Edo, wood block prints with popular icons from contemporary, American, corporate culture. These works explored the collision of two contrasting cultures, as in the series McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan. In the early 1990’s Teraoka embarked in a new direction, and began to paint multi-frame panels in the style of western, Medieval, religious triptychs. The stylistic transformation acted as a tool with which Teraoka was able to more evocatively explore his new thematic preoccupation. Always working with a subtle political agenda, he delved into contemporary societal issues relating to the Catholic Church. In the current exhibition, The Last Supper/The Inversion of the Sacred, the artist continues to engage with these topics. His new series, The Last Supper, uses the conventional scene of Christ’s betrayal, to symbolize a new scene of betrayal. Teraoka sees the Catholic Church as being at a crossroads at which due to sexual abuse scandals widely publicized by the media, there is an overt contradiction between the Church’s stated belief and actions. Due to the nature of technological advances in communication, the Church has been unable to curb the media’s damaging focus upon the untoward activities of the clergy. In violent scenes, the artist vividly brings these contradictions, and the aforementioned betrayal of values, to life, with highly sexualized female figures that cavort with a variety of demonic creatures, leered at, or perhaps joined by the clergy. Teraoka was further inspired to explore the theme of hypocrisy by news of a dinner hosted by the Catholic Church to which Obama and McCain were invited while running for president.
The current exhibition at Catharine Clark Gallery will present triptychs from The Last Supper/The Inversion of the Sacred, as well as a select group of works on paper from 1969 to 2007 that provide context for the development of Teraoka’s themes across the more than 40 years of his career.
Currently a resident of Hawaii, Masami Teraoka was born in 1936 in Onomichi, Japan, and first received his BA in Aesthetics from Kwansei Gakuin University, Kobe, Japan. He moved to Los Angeles in his twenties, where he received his BFA and MFA at the Otis Art Institute. The subject of a traveling solo exhibition, Masami Teraoka: Drawings and New Paintings, organized by the Honolulu Academy of Art for travel beginning in 2012, Teraoka has been widely exhibited and reviewed internationally, with solo shows at institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His work is owned by numerous public collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Tate Modern in London. He has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 1997.