The exhibition consists of a chronological retrospective that charts the development of her empirical-conceptual practice as well as several large-scale installations based on ones she made in her lifetime. Thematic installations based on exhibitions she presented during her lifetime will include displays inspired by her Star Series, moons, Gaea and Devastation Forest installations, and garden seats. Also included will be an interactive installation and concert program of new works by composer Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in music) centered on the hidden element of sound in Takaezu’s works. Takaezu filled many of her closed forms with “rattles,” encouraging viewers to navigate their unseen interior volumes through sound.
Toshiko Takaezu (1922–2011) had seven-decade career, beginning in the late 1940s. Installations will focus on Takaezu’s systematic experimentation with ceramics as an art form combining sculpture and painting—at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, in her teaching years at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and in her increasingly environmental approach to ceramics and installations of her work after her move to a large studio in New Jersey (where she also taught at Princeton University). From the late 1960s on, she had unified her approach to ceramics, sculpture, and painting to consistently convey the sublimity of nature in individual pots. In addition to the ceramic works for which she is best known, the exhibition will also include rarely-seen paintings and weavings in which she explored and perfected her ideas about abstract painting.
Image: Toshiko Takaezu with moons, 1979 / photo by Yasuhiro Wakabayashi.