September 7 – October 28, 2017
Gregory Lind Gallery is pleased to present a new series of paintings by Barbara Takenaga. In her seventh solo exhibition at the gallery, she features works that expand upon her elegant cosmic images, taking more complex detours that feature the interplay of chance and visual systems. Vibrant splashes of color belie the intricacy of meticulously repeated dots, tracings, and outlines.
Takenaga’s palette of primarily blues and reds brings to mind natural elements, which coalesce in a shifting topography, alternating between order and chaos. As magical as the works appear, it is easy to associate them with familiar phenomena in nature: from rugged coastlines to images of supernovas from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Even as her imagined landscapes captivate and disarm the senses, Takenaga differentiates these works from her older pieces, of which she has said, “I was continually investigating basically the same composition…so the structure was set before I started to work. I generally knew what I wanted to have happen and then I kind of let it happen in terms of variation and play. They were formally diverse within a conceptual system.” With her newer pieces, Takenaga admits to “figuring out more ways to let go of control and then take it back.”
One of the more striking aspects of the newer works is their depiction of an infinite space in which foreground and background are nearly interchangeable, and perspective itself is elusive. Many of the works, which feature a phantasmagoria of explosive color, are suggestive of a kaleidoscope whose constructed images are in a constant state of fluidity, motion, and transformation. In Takenaga’s oeuvre, serene blues can give way to ominous and fractured landscapes, where interpretation remains capricious and difficult to pin down. Viewers’ perceptions are constantly tested as they move through experiences of floating, ascending, falling, and re-contextualizing. These are works that suggest literal objects while managing to weave an irrevocable connection to the metaphoricalterrain of infinity.
Barbara Takenaga lives and works in New York City and Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is the Mary A. and William Wirt Warren Professor of Art at Williams College. Her work has been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Crocker Museum of Art, Sacramento; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA; and the National Academy Museum, New York. There will be a 20-year survey of her work at the Williams College Museum of Art in October 2017, accompanied by a 144 page catalogue published by Prestel/Delmonico. Takenaga has been featured in publications such as Art in America, Art News, the New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.