Exhibition Detail

Toshiko Takaezu, Double-spouted Vase, c.1958, Stoneware. Collection Cranbrook Art Museum. Gift of Eliel G. and Daniel A. Redstone in honor of Ruth R. and Louis G. Redstone (CAA Master of Architecture, 1948)© Toshiko Takaezu. Photo: R. H. Hensleigh and Tim Thayer

Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within

September 27, 2024 - January 12, 2025
Upper Galleries

Toshiko Takaezu is one of the most accomplished artists to work with clay in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, acclaimed for her vessels that she treated like canvases for expressive abstraction. Born in Hawai’i to Japanese immigrant parents, Takaezu came to study and eventually teach in the summer program at Cranbrook Academy of Art between 1951-1956. This major exhibition centered on her life and work is the first nationally touring retrospective of Takaezu’s work in twenty years.

Worlds Within is a chronological retrospective that charts the development of Takaezu’s hybrid practice over seven decades, documenting her early student work in Hawai’i and at Cranbrook through her years teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art and later at Princeton University. To represent this evolution, the show will present a series of installations loosely inspired by ones that Takaezu created in her own lifetime: from a set table of functional wares from the early 1950s to an immersive constellation of monumental ceramic forms from the late 1990s to early 2000s. The exhibition will include a vast collection of ceramic sculptures including her signature “closed forms,” Moons, Garden Seats, Trees, and select monumental works from her late masterpiece, the Star Series. It will also feature a broad selection of her vibrant and gestural acrylic paintings and weavings, many of which have rarely been seen. Sound will also play an important role in this exhibition as many of Takaezu’s closed ceramic forms contain unseen “rattles”.

To coincide with the exhibition, a new monograph was published in association with Yale University Press, for which Cranbrook Art Museum contributed new scholarship. This timely exhibition and publication arrive just as Takaezu’s work is receiving renewed critical attention as one of the great modern abstractionists.

Toshiko Takaezu: Worlds Within is organized by the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York, with assistance from the Toshiko Takaezu Foundation and the Takaezu family, and curated by Glenn Adamson, Kate Wiener, Dakin Hart, and Leilehua Lanzilotti.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the leadership support of the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Henry Luce Foundation.

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The Cranbrook Art Museum presentation is generously supported by the Gilbert Family Foundation and the George Francoeur Art Museum Exhibition Fund.

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