Artist Ray Yoshida's Home on View at John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Ray Yoshida taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for four decades and was an icon of the Chicago arts scene. He influenced generations of artists, including the forward-thinking group known as the Chicago Imagists with his invitation for students to draw inspiration from their daily environment and develop their own unique practice.
This fall, visitors to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center will have the unprecedented opportunity to see where Yoshida received his own inspiration in the new exhibition Ray Yoshida's Museum of Extraordinary Values. Yoshida built a home collection, a kaleidoscopic mass of items assembled over his lifetime. His belief in leveling hierarchies in the art world and elevating the aesthetics of everyday life can be seen in the varied collection he amassed. The gallery is sectioned off into nine tableaux that recreate his Chicago apartment. The collection includes more than 2,600 pieces, spanning folk art, works by self-taught artists, African masks, manufactured goods, pop culture and much more.
In addition to his home collection, 60 of Yoshida's own workscollage, oils, prints and drawingsare on view for visitors to examine alongside his personal source material.
This is the first time Yoshida's home collection is on view since his death in 2009. The Arts Center received Yoshida's entire home collection because of its reputation as a leader in maintaining, preserving and presenting the work of vernacular art-environment builders. The acquisition of Yoshida's collection signals a time of scholarship into environments of a different type, the home environment.
Ray Yoshida's Museum of Extraordinary Values is part of the Arts Center's The Open Eye series. Four additional exhibitions in the series explore key interest areas found in Yoshida's collection: self-taught art, comic books, ethnographic art and his idea of a vocabulary of "place."
Admission to the Arts Center is free. The exhibitions begin closing February 2, 2014.