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Press Release

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Barbara Takenaga: Whatsis, an exhibition of new paintings on view through April 27. In recent years, Barbara Takenaga has explored the space between control and randomness, creating vast imagined spaces that evoke the interconnectedness of the natural world. Her new bodies of work continue this duality of fluidity and structure, while introducing graphic and geometric forms. Takenaga translates, recombines, and hybridizes these visual systems, reinterpreting them across cultures and generations.

Takenaga’s new paintings evoke at once the open expanses of the ocean, outer space, and the night sky, and the microscopic structures of cells. She begins her process with a liquid paint pour, allowing the physical forces of gravity and the properties of paint to create patterns as it rolls and settles. From these chance operations, she locates an internal structure to the composition, which she defines with labor-intensive brushwork.

In the major six-panel painting, Two for Bontecou (2022), imposed geometric edges interweave with the splashy, cosmic paint pour, creating a pulsing, shifting web. The painting is an ordered cacophony, a “big bang” explosion that mimics the entropic forces of nature.

For her new Translations series, Takenaga looked to Japanese ukiyo-e prints, interpreting forms and details from these images into her own visual language. Drawn to the spatial ambiguities inherent in the flat image of the print, these paintings reference familiar forms while placing our notion of those associations in question. The monumental five-panel work, Round Trip Time (2024), continues this process and maps out new terrain, hovering between organic and technological, futuristic and historical, surface and deep space.

This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Jeremiah McCarthy, “Barbara Takenaga: One Thing to Another.”

Barbara Takenaga lives and works in New York City. In 2020, Barbara Takenaga was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of Fine Arts. In 2017, Williams College Museum of Art organized a twenty-year survey of Takenaga’s work, curated by Debra Bricker Balken, accompanied by a book published by Prestel. Other solo presentations of her work include an exhibition at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE (2018); a large-scale public commission for SPACE | 42 at The Neuberger Museum of Art in NY (2017); and a large-scale installation Nebraska (2015–17) at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.

Takenaga is represented in many permanent collections, including: The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC; The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; The DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA; Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC; Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearny, NE; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA; The San Jose Art Museum, CA; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

For press inquiries, please contact Caroline Magavern at

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