This exhibition contains 38 paintings covering a 31-year span by an abstract artist almost universally admired among the various factions of Chicago art. Her carefully constructed compositions are based on landscape themes and interiors with windows and occasional references to objects and the human figure. The roots of her painting go back to childhood experience of landscape in both Japan and the Bay Area of California, and her works frequently possess a deep dreamlike space.
Although her career bridges the varied stylistic trends which brought national recognition to Chicago in the 1950s and 60s—Monster Roster and Imagism, as well as Chicago Abstraction—she has worked in a style independent of these trends, and because less easily classifiable, her work has often been overlooked in critical assessments of Chicago art. Only in the last decade has her painting recieved critical acclaim and has she been recognized as a major influence for younger generations of Chicago artists. Despite 35 years of exhibition history in local and national institutions (Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute), this is the first retrospective exhibition of her work.
Miyoko Ito lives in the local Hyde Park-Kenwood community. She has a long association with the Renaissance Society, exhibiting in group shows since 1947. This exhibition will be part of a joint program to honor the 65th anniversay of the Society and the 40th annniversary of our neighbor institution, the Hyde Park Art Center. The Society will celebrate the paintings of Ito, the Center the work of Don Baum, two community artists of national acclaim.