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Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents Barbara Takenaga

Barbara Takenaga’s paintings enrich the languages of abstraction by combining aspects of Japanese printmaking and Tantric painting, as well as modernist developments such as Op Art. Her meticulously obsessive paintings of vortex patterns, pinwheels, and cosmic particles set in kaleidoscopic motion are based on intricate mathematical systems, and evoke grand visions of night skies in which meteor showers, gaseous explosions and other sorts of astronomical phenomena are happening. Images float or rotate before our eyes. Colors pop and dazzle. Trajectories intersect, overlap, spiral, and reverberate. At once conceptual and emphatically ornamental, Takenaga’s work invites us on playful metaphysical journeys that are enchanting and magical. Takenaga earned BFA (1972) and MFA (1978) degrees from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her paintings have been exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado; and the National Academy Museum, New York. Her work was highlighted in the MIT Press publication, Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s (2010), and is held in many public and corporate collections throughout the United States. Takenaga is the Mary A. and William Wirt Warren Professor of Art at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts. She is represented by DC Moore Gallery, New York, N.Y. 

The Walter Gropius Master Artist Series is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition, as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, the late Alex Booth, Jr., for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.

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