An expansive look at the multifaceted American artist Toshiko Takaezu within the history of postwar artmaking
Toshiko Takaezu (1922–2011) was an American artist whose multidisciplinary work in ceramics, painting, sculpture, weaving, and installation innovatively drew from the natural world, combining expressionist energies with influences from East Asia. The closed ceramic forms for which she is best known are effectively abstract paintings in the round. Her reputation as a ceramic artist, however, has obscured the breadth of her output in other mediums and her role within the larger art movements of the twentieth century. This book provides the first retrospective assessment of Takaezu’s art and life, representing her diverse oeuvre, which spanned six decades, and her hybrid identity as an Asian American woman, artist, and teacher.
This ambitious volume features essays exploring Takaezu’s biography, her background as a Hawai‘i-born artist of Okinawan heritage, the relationship between her abstract work and that of her contemporaries, the role of cultural exchange in her art, her impact as an educator, and more. Beautifully illustrated with nearly 300 images of artworks and archival photographs, and including an updated chronology, exhibition history, and recollections from the artist’s former apprentices, the book offers a compelling and comprehensive account of this singular artist’s career.
Published in association with The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum
The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York (March 20–July 28, 2024)
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI (September 11, 2024–January 12, 2025)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (March 2–May 18, 2025)
Chazen Museum of Art (September 8–December 23, 2025)
Honolulu Museum of Art (February 13–July 26, 2026)
Glenn Adamson is an independent art historian and curator, and author of Craft: An American History. Dakin Hart is former senior curator and Kate Wiener is curator, both at The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.
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