Barbara Takenaga

Philip Slein Gallery: Stars, a group show by Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga, One Thing to Another, 2015, 16 x 14 inches.

Barbara Takenaga, One Thing to Another, 2015, 16 x 14 inches.

Featuring the work of Alison Hall, Warren Isensee, Douglas Melini, Carl Olstendarp and Barbara Takenaga

Celestial bodies have inspired artists since the European cave paintings where the first known
images of the sky appear. Sky gazing, starry nights, contemplation of the universe were staples
of the Renaissance and have continued to be explored to this day. This exhibition gathers five contemporary abstract painters whose work interprets the sky and its stars in fresh visual language.

St. Louis, Missouri

5 - 8 PM

Barbara Takenaga at Robischon Gallery, May 16 - July 6 2019 by Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga,  Blue (A) , acrylic on linen, 60 x 70 inches

Barbara Takenaga, Blue (A), acrylic on linen, 60 x 70 inches

Barbara Takenaga: Manifold
May 16 - July 6, 2019
Robischon Gallery
Denver, CO

In her first solo exhibition, Robischon Gallery is pleased to present New York artist Barbara Takenaga’s “Manifold,” an expansive offering of small and large-scale paintings on linen and panel. With her exquisitely lavish painted details, the artist’s overall palette of deep blacks and a rich range of blues  serve as the foundation for her multi-layered, dynamic animated mark.  Clusters of concentric circles, tiny pearlescent geysers, or luminous structures of nets and fish-scale forms, each unfold and redirect the eye to prompt a sense of wonder. Artist and artcritical writer, Mary Jones observes, “Takenaga plays through octaves of weight. Tiny brushstrokes, hairlines, and rendered dots of white are made with the lightest touch, skittering across a heavy lava flow of poured and puddled acrylic. She knows her chemistry. Untold hours of attention, focus and devotion to her craft are haptically present, the paintings suggest strenuous concentration and, like meditation, allow the viewer to escape the pressures of time and distraction. Takenaga has practiced and honed these qualities through decades, and now, she thoroughly owns them.”

To continue reading the press release and to view a selection of work, click here.

Barbara Takenaga,  Cloud Faces , acrylic on canvas over wood panel, 8 x 10 inches

Barbara Takenaga, Cloud Faces, acrylic on canvas over wood panel, 8 x 10 inches

'Labyrinths of the Minds' at Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, May 17 - June 30, 2019 by Barbara Takenaga

Exhibition Labyrinths of the Mind Explores Encounters of Art, Psychology, and Neuroscience

This group show features the work of: Nancy Azara, Ford Crull, Greg Dunn, Jane Fine, Owen Gray, Nene Humphrey, Suejin Jo, Zachary Keeting, Ellen K. Levy, Sam Messenger, Paula Overbay, Pema Rinzin, David Scher, Barbara Takenaga, Dannielle Tegeder, and Sarah Walker.

Byrdcliffe Kleinert James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street, Woodstock NY
May 17 — June 30, 2019
Saturday, May 18: Dialogue with the Artists: Processes of Mind and Art, 3:00 to 4:00 pm followed by an Opening Reception, 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Opening to the public on Friday, May 17, the Kleinert/James Center for the Arts presents the exhibition Labyrinths of the Mind. On Saturday, May 18, there will be a public discussion with the artists and curator at 3:00 pm on Processes of Mind and Art, followed by a reception until 6:00 pm.

The exhibition’s curator, Sara Lynn Henry, notes in a statement: “Where have our minds gone these days? Are they lost in the cascade of media, digital messages, and commercial/political fractured (fake?) realities that inundate us of late? The artists participating in Labyrinths of the Mind have set out to get beneath this cultural surface to explore the inner caverns of the personal mind.” Here, she says, the use of the word “mind” is intended to characterize the artist’s own cognition, thoughts, feelings, and creative moments—a stream of art-consciousness, so to speak. This inner world is explored for its own sake, but also explored for inner responses to the outer—nature, culture, even politics. This creative dance is impelled by the hearty remnants of psychologizing in our culture—i.e. what do I think—but also by the awareness of the rock bed of mind in the neurostructure and dynamics of the brain. In the last decade, advanced technologies have allowed for more to be learned about the brain than in all previous centuries. Some of the artists in Labyrinths of the Mind look directly to these neuroscientific forms as subject and metaphor in their art; others have been directly or subliminally affected by this new knowledge. All of the artists selected for the show create networks of visual events, dynamically interacting across open spaces—a stream of images, remembrances, bits of nature, sometimes scientific diagrams or imaging—all within the vast spaces of a mind experience. The recent understanding of the way our mind/brain structures meaning out of disparate bits of information, stored in various locations, has impelled this creative direction. A few artists penetrate to the unnamed space within which all occurs for a place of contemplation. The exhibition includes painting, works on paper, video, and one sculptural piece.

The exhibition is on view through June 30, 2019.

Dance with Me, a group show curated by Kyle Staver, Zurcher Gallery by Barbara Takenaga


“Dance with Me”
A group exhibition curated by Kyle Staver

Zürcher Gallery, New York NY

Opening May 11, 2019 from 6 - 8 PM
On view through June 16, 2019

Jane South
Julie Evans
Kyle Staver
June Leaf
Julie Heffernan
Janice Nowinski
Helen O’Leary
Sharon Horvath
Ruth Marten
Staver Klitgaard
Sarah Walker
Katherine Bradford
Barbara Takenaga
Susanna Coffey
Leslie Kerby
Anne Harris
Jenny Lynn McNutt
Lisa Corinne Davis
Elisabeth Condon
Jennifer Coates

Barbara Takenaga, Spring & Summer 2019 by Barbara Takenaga

This Spring, Barbara Takenaga will be featured in 2 solo exhibitions and 3 group shows.
Dates and locations follow below!

Aquamarine, 2018, acrylic on linen, 42 x 36 inches

Aquamarine, 2018, acrylic on linen, 42 x 36 inches

  • The “X” Factor

    May 4 - June 22
    Bernay Fine Arts, Great Barrington, MA

  • Dance with Me, a group show curated by Kyle Staver

    May 11 - June 16
    Zurcher Gallery, New York, NY

  • Barbara Takenaga: Here to Here

    May 16 - July 6
    Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO

  • Labyrinths of the Mind, a group show curated by Sara Lynn Henry

    May 17 - June 30

    Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, NY

  • Barbara Takenaga: Looking at Blue

    June 22 - September 23

    Brattleboro Museum & Art Center, Brattleboro, VT

Barbara Takenaga: Outset at DC Moore Gallery by Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga, Aeaea, 2018, acrylic on linen, 60 x 70 inches

Opening Reception
Thursday September, 6th, 2018

September 6 – October 6, 2018
DC Moore Gallery
535 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Outset, an exhibition of new paintings by Barbara Takenaga, the artist’s fifth at the gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with an essay, “On Systems of Radiance” by art critic Lilly Wei.

Takenaga pushes into further realms of meaning in this new body of work, incorporating motifs drawn from earlier paintings with new forms and fluctuations of space. Through a labor-intensive process that begins with the nonspecific pouring of paint onto canvas, Takenaga allows for unexpected happenings and accidents. From these earliest pours, she then coaxes her lyrical and complex vocabulary of marks, methodical patterns blending with the residue of chance. The forms she renders are completely abstracted yet suggest influences as diverse as the natural world, traditional Asian arts, and extraterrestrial phenomena.

Takenaga has embraced a muted kaleidoscope of grays and mineral greens, blues, silver, and black, which result in a mesmerizing psychological dimension. The eye alights on one of her marks and then another and the brain scrambles to organize them into a complete picture, only to have this imagined almost-image collapse, and reform again into something else. To study these paintings is a constant process of shaping new beginnings.

Barbara Takenaga,  Outset ,   2017, acrylic on wood panels, 20 x 32 inches

Barbara Takenaga, Outset, 2017, acrylic on wood panels, 20 x 32 inches

The exhibition takes its name from the painting Outset (2017), a canvas comprised of hundreds of tiny, ecstatic detonations. Hurtling outward from a nebulous central space in the painting, the marks not only conjure “shooting stars like the Perseids that rocket across the night skies of August, or cosmic fields radiating incalculable quanta of turbulent energy,” as Wei writes, but also perhaps, “underwater anemones, or spidery tendrils of unfurling chrysanthemums, or microscopic biological specimens such as diatoms, protozoa, or love-maddened, furiously swimming spermatozoa.” The ethereal motif recurs in other works, such as the mysterious

Barbara Takenaga, Manifold 5, 2018, acrylic on linen, 72 x 225 inches

Manifold (2018), a sprawling and luminous five-panel painting, its construction reminiscent of Japanese Byōbu folding screens, anchors the show. Dominated by an elegant swoop of black space emanating from a silvery background, the work is flecked by dozens of spout-like shapes that suggest diminutive geysers, or perhaps flickering candlesticks. The gossamer forms resist literal interpretation just as they resist being pulled into the void of black. The vacuum itself in turn unfurls asymmetrically, as Takenaga creates a tensional push-and-pull across the panels. Close scrutiny of the painting reveals a scrupulous, scallop-shaped pattern ebbing through the dark expanses of paint. The detail reflects how the artist is an advocate of the Pattern & Decoration movement of the 1970s just as much as it does her interest in the organic, the repeated markings like the ordered scales of a fish. Manifold is simultaneously indicative of the infinite expanse of the universe, and also the earthbound mysteries of our own world.

Barbara Takenaga’s work was the subject of a twenty-year survey exhibition at Williams College Museum of Art, a large-scale public commission for SPACE | 42 at The Neuberger Museum of Art in NY, a recent solo exhibition this past spring at the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia, and a large-scale installation Nebraskarecently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. Born and raised in Nebraska, the artist currently lives and works in New York.


To view recent press from The New Yorker, Hyperallergic and Two Coats of Paint, click here.



Barbara Takenaga: Outset

Catalog including essay by Lilly Wei
Copyright © DC Moore Gallery, 2018
28 pages with color reproductions

Barbara Takenaga at MASS MoCA by Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga, mural,  Nebraska Paintings , Mass MoCA

Barbara Takenaga, mural, Nebraska Paintings, Mass MoCA

Painter Barbara Takenaga creates a new work—at a scale unprecedented in her practice—for a wall in the Hunter Hallway at MASS MoCA. Known for her small, labor-intensive, exuberant abstractions composed of matrix-like swirling patterns of dots, here Takenaga translates her meticulous handcrafted easel-sized work to wallpaper. The mural features a new image from her series Nebraska Paintings, a body of work that moves closer to representational imagery only implied in earlier pieces, also evocative of the wide open spaces and big sky of the artist’s native state.