May 26, 2012

Takenaga's visionary abstraction

"Rave On" (2012) acrylic on panel by Barbara Takenaga

New York artist Barbara Takenaga, showing at Gregory Lind, also thrives on complexity. But she seems bent on making her paintings on panel and paper as different and disconnected as possible from what lies outside them.

A touch of psychedelia has always invaded Takenaga's work. The title of a picture such as "Rave On" (2012) encourages that association, but the painting itself evidences such care in the making as to dissipate any hint of delirious execution.

Finally, Takenaga seems less connected to the '60s taste for altered states than to the visionary spirit of nature mystics such as Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) and Samuel Palmer (1805-1881). Yet, like some artists of the '60s, she favors patterns that yield - aesthetically - more than the sum of their parts.