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Takako Yamaguchi

Japanese, b. 1952

Add This to Rhetoric

Oil and bronze leaf on canvas
68 x 78 x 1.5 in.
Gift of the Kathryn C. Wanlass Foundation

Takako Yamaguchi’s Add This to Rhetoric manifests within its majestic composition the full span of this artist’s international education, her cultural and environmental interests, and significant reference points in modern art history. Born in Japan and pursuing her studies in Tokyo, then at Bates College, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, Yamaguchi has pursued a seamless merger of eclectic influences. These range from the quasi-abstract elegance of traditional kimono, to the luminous landscape paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, to the schematic aesthetic of Mondrian and the optical wonderments of Vasarely and Escher. Her attraction to the highly varied terrain of the American West that she calls home is synergistically allied with the region’s history of spiritual seeking and cultural progressivism.

Yamaguchi’s hybrid vision balances competing impulses toward the representation of landscape and the invention of abstract motifs. The painting’s flatness of pattern and gradient palette are tinged with a diffuse light and bronze leaf to create a sense of pictorial space and a beckoning horizon. The painting’s large scale reinforces the grandeur of its vista, keeping the eye in motion and the body engaged in what is as much an experience as an image. There is a devotional, almost meditative aspect to the way in which the work is constructed of gently interwoven geometrical shapes, recalling stained glass, Byzantine mosaics, and ornamental screen painting. In this way, Yamaguchi’s practice is both personal and emblematic of the modern zeitgeist of cultural, historical, and stylistic plurality, reflecting the state of contemporary painting in California and the West.

Shana Nys Dambrot

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  • abstraction
  • blue
  • blue-green
  • clouds
  • geometric patterns
  • ocean
  • oil paint
  • pattern
  • sky
  • water - A liquid made up of molecules of hydrogen and oxygen (HO2). When pure, it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It exists in gaseous, liquid, and solid forms; it is liquid at room temperature. It is the liquid of which seas, lakes, and rivers are composed, and which falls as rain. Water is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds. It is vital to life, participating in virtually every process that occurs in plants and animals. One of its most important properties is its ability to dissolve many other substances. The versatility of water as a solvent is essential to living organisms. The term "water" is typically used to refer to the liquid form of this compound; for the solid or gaseous forms, use "ice" or "water vapor."
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  • white

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