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Barbara Takenaga

October 6 – 28


Barbara Takenaga, 27th Street Tracing (2015).

Barbara Takenaga arranges the simple components of her dense, abstract paintings into stunningly detailed compositions that undulate, radiate and recede in seemingly infinite space. Her dazzling repetition of forms suggests the inherent yet sometimes incomprehensible logic of both the cosmic and the cellular. Crisp, saturated color defines each discrete element in the tightly woven, tessellated work.

Takenaga is the Mary A. and William Wirt Warren Professor of Art at Williams College. She divides her time between Williamstown, Massachusetts, and New York City, where she maintains a studio. Her work has been widely exhibited at institutions including Mass MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado; National Academy Museum, New York City; and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia. She is represented in the permanent collections of the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; the Smith College Museum of Art, Northamptom, Massachusetts; the deCordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; the San Jose Museum of Art, California; and Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles; among others.

John Yau, professor of art criticsm at Rutgers Universeity, poet, fiction writer and editor of the online magazine, Hyperallergic Weekend, described Takenaga's "abstract enigmas" (in her 2016 exhibition, "Waiting in the Sky," at DC Moore Gallery, New York) in the following way:

"The place where Takenaga transports us is mythic and made of paint, and its configurations are constructed from a careful repetition of abstract marks and forms, as if she is weaving something together. The replication of marks becomes hallucinatory and even maddening: it is the artist's way of both marking time and organizing it into visionary states that promise nothing. She lifts the viewer into a visual conundrum, an enigmatic realm."

Page last updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2016