At once conceptual and decorative, Barbara Takenaga’s swirling, patterned paintings have been called “psychedelic” and “cosmic.” Takenaga’s approach to painting is both highly structured and disciplined. In this collection of seventy paintings, the evolution of Takenaga’s celestial bodies and ecstatic compositions is traced over a 20-year period. The luminous reproductions allow readers to study her intricacies of form and color. The book includes an essay that examines Takenaga’s work in relation to historic precedents and current aesthetic developments; a brief consideration of Takenaga’s career by novelist Jim Shepard; and a poem by Geoffrey Young.
DEBRA BRICKER BALKEN is an independent curator and writer who has organized numerous exhibitions on subjects relating to American modernism and contemporary art.