Senior graphic designer Anjali Lee is the woman behind the museum’s visual identity. From exhibition “logos” to invitations to the members’ magazine—that is her handiwork you see. And in a case of kismet, she had just moved to Honolulu with her boyfriend for his new job when she saw the museum was looking for a new designer.

“I had always dreamed of living in Hawai’i, but I had actually never expected to live on O’ahu,” says Lee, who had previously vacationed on Kaua‘i for years. Having grown up in Washington D.C., and lived in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York, how does Anjali like it in Honolulu? “Although I love all those cities for different reasons, I don’t plan on living on the mainland again!”

DeWain Valentine, Double Pyramid, 1968. Cast polyester resin. Gift of The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2011, and gift of the Lannan Foundation (TCM.1997.44.2)

DeWain Valentine, Double Pyramid, 1968. Cast polyester resin. Gift of The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, 2011, and gift of the Lannan Foundation (TCM.1997.44.2)

When asked to name her favorite work in the museum’s collection, she heads to Kinau Courtyard, and stops at the glass case outside the entrance to the Christensen Fund Gallery of Indonesian Art, where the sun shone on DeWain Valentine’s Open Diamond Triangle (1981). Anjali had not known of the artist until she saw Double Pyramid (1968) in American Array, the museum’s rotation of contemporary artwork that closed last January.

“I had never heard of him before, so when I read up on him, I learned he was part of the Light and Space movement—which I didn’t know a lot about,” says Lee. “He uses synthetic materials to try to capture very elusive things in nature, wanting to isolate and objectify the atmosphere. He was influenced by automobile and surfboard culture and so those materials have come into his sculptures.”

It’s that combination of the synthetic and light and space that attracts Lee to Valentine’s work, as well as the way he tries to “make tangible things that are very nebulous.”

Pictured at top:
DeWain Valentine
Open Diamond Triangle, 1981.
Cut and laminated sheet glass
Purchase, 1985 (5346.1)

 

12.11.2017