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Daily Art Moment: Frank Okada

Frank Okada once described his work as being “dedicatory in nature.” He said, “My parents, through good and bad times, always placed the first portion of newly cooked rice before their modest Buddhist shrine, dedicating that portion to the memory of those past and as an abiding affirmation of their faith. Occasionally, in thoughts conjured in my studio reflections, I sense my work as being metaphorically that daily first portion of rice.” While this painting appears to be a bold, colorful abstraction, Okada’s choice of title hints at the connection to memory and family. Consanguineous is a word denoting kinship, especially people descended from the same ancestor. Come by and visit this work in the Museum’s Hoffman Lobby.

Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Mary Randlett, Portrait of Frank Okada, 1972. Gelatin silver print, 10 3/8 x 10 9/16 in, black-and-white square portrait of the artist, a Japanese-American male perched on stool, right foot crossed onto his left knee, in front of a large painting. He wears clothes indicative of the time: dark flared pants, leather boots, large glasses, a dark collared shirt with sleeves rolled up, and holds a lit cigarette in his right hand. He gazes into the middle distance to the left of the viewer.

Frank Okada (American, 1931–2000), Consanguineous, 1969. Oil on canvas. Museum Purchase: Caroline Ladd Pratt Fund, 71.4

Mary Randlett (American, 1924–2019), Portrait of Frank Okada, 1972. Gelatin silver print, image/sheet: 10 3/8 in x 10 9/16 in, Gift of Bill Rhoades in memory of Murna and Vay Rhoades, 2012.86.14