Gallery News & Events
Released: 9/12/2003
Artist: Takako Yamaguchi
Exhibition: New Paintings
•For Immediate Release•

Takako Yamaguchi

New Paintings

12 September through 31 October 2003

Artist reception 12 September 7-9PM

Jan Baum Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings by Japanese born, Los Angeles based artist Takako Yamaguchi. In her new work, Yamaguchi enters into a debate that might be dubbed “the dialectic of order and chaos”. Is our once coherent world fragmenting into anarchic disorder? Or conversely, is a once wild and formless world being tamed and shaped into a homogeneous monoculture? Flying apart or coming together? In lieu of an answer, Yamaguchi takes the question and makes it over into the form and content of her art. These oil, acrylic and bronze leaf on paper paintings (varying in size from 52 ½”x52 ½” to 52 ½”x96”) engage the order/chaos issue first at the level of their own materiality. To begin, the artist spills a mixture of viscous paint and powdered metal pigments across a paper ground incised with horizontal and vertical lines. Her spill overflows the boundaries of the underlying grid, pooling into an image that reads half explosion, half unexplored landmass. Yamaguchi surrounds this gestural expression with an array of quirky pictorial representations inspired by sources as diverse as the Old Testament (the Great Flood, the Tower of Babel), Piranesi’s etchings, as well as landscapes and seascapes in the Romantic tradition. Even purist abstraction makes an appearance in the form of crisp geometric patterns of contrasting paint and reflective bronze leaf. Destruction is an insistent theme in these paintings. Recurring images of flood, collapse and decay should not however brand Yamaguchi a pessimist. On the contrary, she approaches her dark content with a touch so light it disarms the threat of immanent disaster. Indeed, by decorating the Apocalypse, so to speak, the artist overthrows an entire history of chilly end-of-the-world pronouncements. Here Yamaguchi follows the advice of Robert Frost who warned that, “It is immodest of a man to think of himself as going down before the worst forces ever mobilized by God.” Like the poet, Yamaguchi fends off despair with the promise of art. “There is at least so much good in the world that it admits of form and the making of form,” Frost wrote,”…what pleasanter than this should be so?”

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5:30 PM