Barbara Takenaga, Pearlescent White


My paintings depict possibilities that are both abstract and narrative: imagined landscapes, microscopic views, diagrams, and “spacescapes.” Natural phenomena are often used as metaphors for the cosmic, catastrophic, or comic. Simultaneous readings can include close-up cross sections of minerals or aerial maps of land, shooting stars or falling missiles, snow storms or big bang explosions. There is a labor-intensive aspect to the work, using a simple visual vocabulary of dots, tracings, outlining, and stenciling–reconciling random, chance elements with structure and control.
Artwork Info
Date 2020
Dimensions 70 x 60 inches
Medium Acrylic on linen
Artist Info
Born North Platte, NE
Works New York, NY


Barbara Takenaga is an abstract painter interested in images that can be read as both abstract and representational, microscopic and cosmic. Recent solo exhibitions include DC Moore Gallery in NYC, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, a 20-year survey at Williams College Museum of Art, and wall installations at Space/42 of the Neuberger Museum and MASS MoCA. Her recent 20-year survey was accompanied by an illustrated book, with an essay by curator Debra Bricker Balken and published by Delmonico|Prestel in 2017. She is a 2020 recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and represented by DC Moore, Robischon Gallery, and by print publishers Shark’s Ink and Wingate Studio. Takenaga lives and works in New York City and is a Professor Emerita at Williams College.