Sag HarborMichi Itami: A Movement in Print
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Mitchi Itami is a visual artist known for her printmaking, ceramics, paintings and digital art. Her work is held in major museum collections including The Brooklyn Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Legion of Honor Museum (San Francisco) and the National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto, Japan). Other public collections featuring her work include the Library of Congress, The Estée Lauder Foundation and the State of Hawaii, as well as several university art museums. She has sold many works to private collectors through her long-time collaboration with A.I.R. Gallery in New York.
A Movement in Print showcases Itami’s unique printmaking style with work spanning over 30 years. Among the selection, prints utilizing authentic Japanese stencil, intaglio, woodblock, computer generated imagery and monoprinting are made on surfaces such as tissue, rice and rag paper.
As a child, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Itami was sent with her mother to Manzanar, an internment camp for Japanese-Americans. Her father, David Akira Itami, eventually served as the chief translator for the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. Caught between two cultures, he committed suicide while the family was living in Japan as part of the Allied occupation.
Itami received a BA in English literature from UCLA in 1959. She subsequently undertook graduate work in Japanese and English literature at Columbia University, where she studied with the acclaimed scholar Donald Keene. In 1971 she earned her MA from the University of California, Berkeley. She is Professor Emerita at City University of New York where she taught for over twenty years. She previously taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and California State University, Hayward. It was during her first teaching job at Hayward State University in California that she met Misch Kohn who reinvigorated the field of printmaking in postwar America. She has received honors such as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Woman’s Caucus for Art, and a Distinguished Alumna award from the University of California, Berkeley.
Itami has been a frequent recipient of grants and fellowships from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is also a member of numerous professional societies, serving as director or trustee for organizations including New York Foundation for the Arts, the College Art Association, and Art in General. Her other affiliations include the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Asian American Arts Alliance, and the Asian American Arts Center. She was also a member of Godzilla, an Asian American arts advocacy group.
Itami’s work has been exhibited and recognized around the country, most recently in the Parrish Art Museum’s “Affinities of Abstraction: Women Artists on Eastern Long Island, 1950- 2020”. MARK BORGHI is proud to further exhibit her work which feels ever more relevant as it explores what it means to be Japanese-American in post-World War II America.
Courtesy of Mark Borghi