Michio Takayama: A Retrospective

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9780976252313: Michio Takayama: A Retrospective

When Michio Takayama moved to Taos in 1967, he was beginning the final quarter century of a long artistic journey begun decades earlier in Japan. Taos was a center for modern art, a position the art community had staked out twenty years earlier. For them, abstraction in painting was, or would become, the primary thrust of their work. Among the artistic currents present were those of Abstract Expressionism, with which Takayama's own painting style had great affinity. American painters had incorporated a number of traditions to create this collection of dissimilar styles summarized in the term Abstract Expressionism. These included European modernist roots in Surrealism, especially evident with the New York painters. Less frequently mentioned, but equally important to this school of painting were its Asian roots, contributed in large measure by the progressive painters from San Francisco who had a high awareness of the Far East and its art.

"For an abstractionist artist born in Japan, moving to Taos after ten years in Los Angeles was routine in a place where the unusual is common. The artistic value of Takayama's work has held up over time for a number of reasons, but an important one is a level of contrast built into many of the paintings, perhaps a kind of yin and yang. At the same time that color fields of yellow, red, or gray depict a kind of ethereal serenity, they also fairly burst with energy. This is no small accomplishment, but a technical--and spiritual--mastery achieved by only our finest artists."--from an essay by David L. Witt, former curator The Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico

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A study of Michio Takayama's painting style and his impact on Abstract Expressionism.

About the Author:

Art historian and author David L. Witt has been the curator of the Harwood Foundation of the University of New Mexico. He is the past president of the New Mexico Association of Museums and founder of the Southwest Art History Council. Witt is the author of several books, including Taos Moderns: Art of the New and Modernists in Taos: From Dasburg to Martin.

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