Today marks the opening night of Barbara Takenaga’s “Waiting in the Sky,” a new collection of eight pieces on display at the DC Moore Gallery. The series includes large-scale paintings on linen and panel and a wall-piece that works in tandem with one of her current installations at MASS MoCA. “Waiting in the Sky” is Takenaga’s fourth solo exhibition at DC Moore.
The paintings in the series show soft colors reminiscent of the stars or the deep sea; gentle swirls like sparkles crown what could be the tentacles of anemones. This body of work “continues the artist’s eloquent inquiry into the emotional weight of imagined spaces and natural phenomena. Each carefully constructed composition questions the boundaries of the known by offering visual translations of the ever-changing nature of the physical world,” writes Artnet.
Dots, splashes, and swirls confuse the territory of solid with that of any other form; it’s unclear what is, what isn’t, and what is left between. Some of the works look like fresh rain or skyscrapers; others, the bottom of a jellyfish, floating away towards the surface of the sea. Small Springs (2015, 12” x 10” acrylic on wood panel) looks like it could be a map of fountains.
“They still seem to naturally gravitate,” Takenaga said of her works in 2013. “Or maybe anti-gravitate, to some kind of explosive/implosive situation. I still love the idea itself of the Big Bang. I feel like I am on this really giant ocean liner and I’ve got this little tiny steering wheel, and I’m turning and turning and turning it, and I’m trying to make a different course for the shop, turning and turning the wheel, and nothing happens.”
“Finally, the thing—me, my attitude, the history of the work, the paintings themselves—because its mass is so big, it starts moving, ever so slowly shifting,” the artist added.
She holds a BFA and an MFA from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the William Wirt Warren Professor of Art at Williams College, and she currently lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and New York.
“Waiting in the Sky” runs from March 31st, 2016, to April 30th, 2016. An opening reception takes place tonight from 6-8 PM.