Barbara Takenaga’s paintings evoke celestial bodies—galaxies, exploding stars, and resplendent orbs. Critics have drawn connections between her work and Big Bang theory, the mid-western night sky, and psychedelic experience.

At once emphatically ornamental and conceptual Barbara Takenaga’s painting has always thrived on contradiction, deftly elevating aesthetic territory that is still thought of as decoration or illustration.

These sixty works made over two decades combine aspects of Japanese printmaking and Tantric painting, as well as modernist developments such as Op Art. This first in-depth assessment reveals how Takenaga’s work has enriched the languages of abstraction.