This exhibition marked the return to Sonoma State for both Grimmer and Saito, each of whom had solo exhibitions in the University Art Gallery in the 1990s (1992 and 1995, respectively). While both artists were born in Japan (Grimmer in Hanamaki in 1949 and Saito in Tokyo in 1958), educated in the United States (Grimmer at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles and Saito at the California College of the Arts in Oakland), and share some conceptual sensibilities, their work occupies distinctly different realms in the world of contemporary sculpture.
Since the 1980s, Grimmer has focused on issues of space, time, movement, and sound, creating what she refers to as “sound-producing kinetic sculptures” that employ a range of materials such as wood, brass, water, and pebbles. Her sculptures reveal affinities with both the acoustic experiments of Conceptual artist John Cage as well as the geometric forms of American Minimalism. Grimmer lives in Los Angeles and works in Maricopa, CA, a rural area in Los Padres National Forest north west of Los Angeles, California.
Saito began working with bronze—an ancient and rigorous material that he has mastered and is closely associated with his art practice—as a graduate student at CCA in the 1980s. Much of Saito’s work throughout his career has featured bronze casts of natural and found materials, and the new sculpture featured in this exhibition is no exception. Saito has referred to the circle, a recurring motif in his recent work, as being related to the “Japanese cultural practice of Chino Wa Kuguri,” a pre-summer ritual that occurs in Japan every June. Saito lives and works in Denver, Colorado.