Born in North Platte, Nebraska, Barbara Takenaga is a painter who made her first lithograph at Shark’s Ink in the summer of 2002. Her abstract, psychedelic works are full of repeated, obsessive mark making that energize the surface and imply a depth of space. In “Night Visitor”, based on a childhood dream, Takenaga draws a “kind of death/creation image”- many elements coming together or breaking apart from the whole. The small elements can be seen as tiny spiraling Tibetan wheels of life, hairy rosettes, groovy references to 60’s psychedelia or, as described in the Village Voice, “centrifugal eyelashes”. Her work processes are exercises in measuring time, a kind of meditative practice that, to an observer, seem madly playful and persuasive. Her most recent print, “Shaker Blue” a swirling, cosmic composition that has implied deep space and motion.
Barbara Takenaga is a professor at Williams College in Massachusetts. She has received many awards and grants including a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation studio grant, the Massachusetts Artist Fellowship, an Artist’s Resource Trust Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and a printmaking residency at the Vermont Studio School.