From April 16 through June 26, Coos Art Museum will be featuring a solo exhibition by Oregon State University professor of art and Corvallis resident Yuji Hiratsuka. The exhibition Contemporary Narratives: Prints and Works on Paper will take place in the museum’s second floor Mabel Hansen Gallery. Hiratsuka is the juror of this year’s Expressions West western states art competition and his exhibition is timed to coincide with it.
Hiratsuka will be conducting a virtual walk-through tour of Expressions West and his own exhibitions. This walk-through will be available through both YouTube and the museum’s Facebook page.
Hiratsuka has taught printmaking and drawing in OSU’s College of Liberal Art since 1992. He is a nationally and internationally known artist and printmaker with 53 solo and 150 multi-artist exhibitions. Born in Osaka, Japan. Hiratsuka has a B.S. in art education from Tokyo Gakugei University and degrees in printmaking from New Mexico State University and Indiana University. In January 2020, he was named as OSU distinguished professor, the highest academic honor the university can bestow on a faculty member.
The artist says of his work, “The enigmatic figures I draw are reflections of human conditions such as; wry, satire, whimsy, irony, paradox or the mismatches that happen often in people’s daily lives. My figures also employ a state of motion or movement suggesting an actor/actress who narrates a story in a play”.
Of his print-making technique he states “With continuous alterations to a copper plate, I print a sequence of black, yellow, red and blue, passing the same plate through the press for each design and color change. To start with, the first tones to the plate are given with line-etching, drypoint, aquatint, softground, photocopy transfer or roulette. I pull my first color. With these first impressions, I work back into the plate with a scraper, burnisher and emery paper to enhance the lights and accent the motif. I then go on to the second, third and fourth colors. I print on the paper that best suits my work; this is a thin Japanese Kozo paper known as Mulberry paper in the west”.