Bert Winther-Tamaki

Chair, Art History
School of Humanities

Professor, Visual Studies

PH.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Fax: (949) 824-2464

University of California, Irvine
Department of Art History
2210 Humanities Gateway
Mail Code: 2785
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Bert  Winther-Tamaki

History of Modern Japanese Art and Visual Culture. Asian American Art. History of interactions between Japanese and American art worlds. Art and globalization.
My work focuses on the role of the visual arts in the construction of modern national identities, especially in early and mid-twentieth-century Japan. I am particularly intrigued by artists whose positions partly outside Japan complicated the artistic identities they developed in various media: Isamu Noguchi, Minoru Yamasaki, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Fujita Tsuguji. My book, Art in the Encounter of Nations: Japanese and American Artists in the Early Postwar Years, examines the contribution of discourses about abstract ceramic sculpture, avant-garde calligraphy, abstract paintings, and place designs to modern Japanese cultural identity. In two articles on Isamu Noguchi, I consider the different cultural significations of a range of sculptural and design materials (clay, stone, metal, plastic) in his thinking and practice.
Publications Maximum Embodiment: Yôga, the “Western Painting” of Japan, 1910-1955. University of Hawai’i Press, January 2012.
  Isamu Noguchi and Modern Japanese Ceramics: A Close Embrace of the Earth co-author with Louise Cort. Washington, D.C.: The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003.
  Art in the Encounter of Nations: Japanese and American Artists in the Early Postwar Years. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001.
  "The Asian Dimensions of Postwar Abstract Art: Calligraphy and Metaphysics" in Alexandra Munroe, ed. The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 (New York: Guggenheim Museum, 2009), pp.145-157.
  "Global Consciousness in Yôga Self-Portraiture" in Jaynie Anderson, ed. Crossing Cultures: Conflict, Migration, Convergence: the Proceedings of the 32nd Congress of the International Committee of the History of Art. (Carlton, Vic.: Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Publishing, 2009), pp.847-851.
  "Asian Possessions of the Cubist Body: 'Home from Home'" Cubism in Asia; Unbounded Dialogues, International Symposium Report ed. by Yasuko Furuichi. (Tokyo: Japan Foundation, 2006), pp.304-311.
  "Oriental Coefficient: The Role of China in the Japanization of Yôga" Modern Chinese Literature & Culture 18:1 (Summer 2006), pp.85-119.
  "Oil Painting in Postsurrender Japan: Reconstructing Subjectivity through Deformation of the Body" Monumenta Nipponica vol.58, no.3 (Autumn 2003), pp.347-396.
  "Stone Pied-à-Terre and Space-Age Steel: Isamu Noguchi and the Credo of Truth to Material" in Isamu Noguchi, Sculptural Design (Weil am Rhein, Germany: Vitra Design Museum, 2001), pp.186- 218.
  "Minoru Yamasaki: Contradictions of Scale in the Career of the Nisei Architect of the World’s Largest Building" Amerasia Journal. vol.26, no.3 (Winter 2001), pp.162-188.
  "Yagi Kazuo: The Admission of the Nonfunctional Object into the Japanese Pottery World" Journal of Design History vol.12, no.2, (June 1999), pp.123- 141.
  Yukinori Yanagi; Image, Nation & Transnation. Co-Editor, primary author, with essays by graduate students of the Visual Studies Ph.D program. CD Rom. University of California, Irvine. 1998.
  "Embodiment/Disembodiment in Japanese Painting During the Fifteen Year War" Monumenta Nipponica vol.52, no.2 (Summer 1997), pp.145- 180.
  “Mark Tobey, White Writing for a Janus-Faced America,” Word & Image vol.13, no.1 (January-March 1997), pp.77-91.
  “The Rejection of Isamu Noguchi's Hiroshima Cenotaph: A Japanese American Artist in Occupied Japan,” Art Journal vol.53, no.4 (Winter 1994), pp.23-27.
College Art Association
Association of Asian Studies
Japanese Art History Forum
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Last updated 05/31/2013