Visual Arts



September 6 – October 6, 2018

Opening Reception Thursday, September 6, 6-8pm

DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Outset, an exhibition of new paintings by Barbara Takenaga, the artist’s fifth at the gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalog with an essay, “On Systems of Radiance” by art critic Lilly Wei.

Takenaga pushes into further realms of meaning in this new body of work, incorporating motifs drawn from earlier paintings into new forms and fluctuations of space. Through a labor-intensive process that begins with the nonspecific pouring of paint onto canvas, Takenaga allows for unexpected happenings and accidents. From these initial pours, she then coaxes her lyrical and complex vocabulary of marks, a mixture of methodical patterns blending with the residue of chance. The forms she renders are completely abstracted yet suggestive of influences as diverse as the natural world, traditional Asian arts, and extraterrestrial phenomena.

Takenaga has embraced a muted kaleidoscope of grays and mineral greens, blues, silver, and black, which result in a mesmerizing psychological dimension. The eye alights on one of her marks and then another, as the brain scrambles to organize them into a complete picture, only to have this imagined almost-image collapse, and reform again into something else. To study these paintings is to perpetuate the constant process of shaping new beginnings.

The exhibition takes its name from the work Outset (2017), a canvas comprised of hundreds of tiny, ecstatic detonations. Hurtling outward from a nebulous central space in the painting, the marks not only conjure “shooting stars like the Perseids that rocket across the night skies of August, or cosmic fields radiating incalculable quanta of turbulent energy,” as Wei writes, but is pleased to present its first exhibition by Darren Waterston, Remote Futures. This recent body of work explores the allure and menace of utopian fantasy, where an imagined, idealized paradise holds within it a disconcerting future. Waterston has often engaged with mythological, theological, and natural histories while proposing visual depictions of the ineffable that transcend the picture plane. In Remote Futures, there is evidence of human life in the fragments of architecture—temples, cathedrals, ziggurats, bridges—that emerge from the organic detritus. These scenes evoke places of refuge, offering an escape from the processes of time and mortality.

Anchoring the show is Manifold (2018), a sprawling, luminous five-panel painting, its construction reminiscent of Japanese Byōbu folding screens. Dominated by an elegant swoop of black space emanating from a silvery background, the work is flecked by dozens of spout-like shapes that suggest diminutive geysers, or perhaps flickering candlesticks. The gossamer forms resist literal interpretation just as they resist being pulled into the black void. The vacuum itself unfurls asymmetrically, as Takenaga creates a tensional push and pull across the panels. Close scrutiny of the painting reveals a scrupulous, scallop-shaped pattern ebbing through the dark expanses of paint. Such details reveal the artist as an advocate of the Pattern & Decoration movement of the 1970s as well as reflect her interest in organic forms and repeated markings. Manifold is simultaneously indicative of the infinite expanse of the universe, and the earthbound mysteries of our own world. Barbara Takenaga’s work was the subject of a recent solo exhibition this past spring at the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia. Born and raised in Nebraska, the artist currently lives and works in New York.

DC MOORE GALLERY specializes in contemporary and twentieth-century art.

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm. For more information, photographs, or to arrange a viewing please call 212-247-2111 or email Sabeena Khosla at