Infinite Space


            How do you perceive space? This question of space is a common question among artists when beginning a new piece or project. How artists choose to deal with the space they are given is all a matter of perception or essentially the projection of their reality.

            Whether it is physical space as a performance artist or sculptor, or 2D space on a canvas, piece of paper or digital screen all artists deal with the problem of space in different ways. The process taken to manipulate space can give us insight on the artists themselves and how they problem solve. Last week I had the privilege to observe the process of the abstract painter, Barbara Takenaga.

            Takenaga has been on display at DC Moore Gallery on West 22nd Street. Her exhibition entitled Waiting in the Sky included a range of paintings of all different sizes: some taking up entire walls and others about the size of your normal band poster. Takenaga’s work deals with space literally and figuratively, literally in the sense that she is filling a canvas and figuratively because her paintings look as though they go on forever. Her pieces are composed of dense, almost mathematical repetition of patterns with occasional bursts of cosmic dust. Takenaga incorporates various stroke techniques to achieve this galaxy-like quality in her paintings. In sections there are dense dots and in others repeating contour lines acting as fibers. This combination flows together almost seamlessly creating an infinite depth within the piece.

            Takenaga’s choice in varied technique holds one common standard that is clear throughout all her pieces, patience. As you look closely at her attention to detail on each dot, explosion and line you begin to realize the amount of care and time put into each piece. Considering the sizes and detail Takenaga possesses a great deal of diligence.

            Next time you look at any piece of art be conscious of the way in which the artist dealt with the space they were given. How an artist chose to solve the problem of space can tell us much more about the person who created it than we could’ve imagined.