Artist Arman Manookian designed Christmas cards for the belated Star Bulletin. Like this one. So he wasn’t a great speller! It’s still a beautiful romanticized holiday view of Hawai‘i. On view now in Meaning in Color/Expression in Line: Arman Manookian’s Modernism.
This pen-and-ink drawing is outlandishly stylized and romanticized—John Barrymore as King Kamehameha or what? But in the context of the exhibition, the piece, called Romance in Hawaii, is key in seeing the progression of Manookian’s work. From cornball colonialist illustrations to singular modernist paintings that use Hawai‘i as a jumping off point. This one looks like he saw a little Aubrey Beardsley, don’t you think?
Theresa Papanikolas, Curator of European and American Art, organized this tightly focused mini-exhibition of Manookian’s work, gathering together works from different sources, including the Academy’s own collection. It’s a rare chance to see an intriguing slice of Hawai‘i art history.