Paul Smith
Toshiko Takaezu (1922 – 2011) in Her Studio, Quakerstown, NJ, ca. 1985, printed 2016
Archival digital inkjet printer
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Artist

It’s Like Poetry: Building a Toshiko Takaezu Archive at RAM

August 2, 2019 – July 14, 2020
Windows on Fifth Gallery at Racine Art Museum

RAM’s archive now numbers over 30 works, including Toshiko Takaezu’s (1922–2011) most expansive grouping, the installation comprised of 14 “human-sized” forms, the Star Series. Significantly, the museum’s holdings span the range of Takaezu’s working career—with a double-spouted pot from the 1950s being the earliest and the Star Series (1999–2000) being the latest. There are also drawings and prints—works with forms that echo the shapes of Takaezu’s three-dimensional pieces while also reflecting her sensitivity to shape and color. This exhibition features small bowls, toasting goblets, platters, two-foot high closed pieces, and large spheres created over several decades of the artist’s career, which is on view in the unique, street-facing gallery space.

While unassuming in her disposition, Takaezu was a bona fide ceramic superstar. She created work—paintings, prints, fiber, and cast bronze in addition to her well-known ceramic pieces of varying sizes—that embodied a poetic balance between art and life. RAM has been acquiring a range of pieces by Takaezu—from individual forms to multi-part installations—and establishing an archive that documents this significant artist who pushed the boundaries of clay in the late twentieth century.

Takaezu was inspired by nature and the environment, noting the early influence of her home state, Hawaii. She combined this with an interest in color and surface—her signature Makaha blue (a rich blue) being one of many tones she used. She was an artist in tune with concepts of balance and harmony—interior/exterior, planning/unpredictability, calm/tense, large/small.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Gallery Guide (PDF)

Press Room

It’s Like Poetry: Building a Toshiko Takaezu Archive at RAM

August 2, 2019 – July 14, 2020
Windows on Fifth Gallery at Racine Art Museum
Paul Smith
Toshiko Takaezu (1922 – 2011) in Her Studio, Quakerstown, NJ, ca. 1985, printed 2016
Archival digital inkjet printer
Racine Art Museum, Gift of the Artist

RAM’s archive now numbers over 30 works, including Toshiko Takaezu’s (1922–2011) most expansive grouping, the installation comprised of 14 “human-sized” forms, the Star Series. Significantly, the museum’s holdings span the range of Takaezu’s working career—with a double-spouted pot from the 1950s being the earliest and the Star Series (1999–2000) being the latest. There are also drawings and prints—works with forms that echo the shapes of Takaezu’s three-dimensional pieces while also reflecting her sensitivity to shape and color. This exhibition features small bowls, toasting goblets, platters, two-foot high closed pieces, and large spheres created over several decades of the artist’s career, which is on view in the unique, street-facing gallery space.

While unassuming in her disposition, Takaezu was a bona fide ceramic superstar. She created work—paintings, prints, fiber, and cast bronze in addition to her well-known ceramic pieces of varying sizes—that embodied a poetic balance between art and life. RAM has been acquiring a range of pieces by Takaezu—from individual forms to multi-part installations—and establishing an archive that documents this significant artist who pushed the boundaries of clay in the late twentieth century.

Takaezu was inspired by nature and the environment, noting the early influence of her home state, Hawaii. She combined this with an interest in color and surface—her signature Makaha blue (a rich blue) being one of many tones she used. She was an artist in tune with concepts of balance and harmony—interior/exterior, planning/unpredictability, calm/tense, large/small.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Gallery Guide (PDF)

Press Room

Gallery of Work

Click/tap an image for more information.

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

The Estate of Karen Johnson Boyd
David Charak
Judith and David Flegel Fund
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Racine Community Foundation logo
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

City of Racine’s Grow Racine Grant
Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation
Ruth Arts Foundation

Gold Sponsors

Anonymous
Tom and Irene Creecy
Richard and Patricia Ehlert
Trio Foundation of St. Louis
W.T. Walker Group, Inc.
Wisconsin Arts Board

Silver Sponsors

Anonymous
Baird
Beta Diagnostic Labs
A.C. Buhler Family
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Jim Harris
Sharon and Tom Harty
Horizon Retail Construction, Inc.
Lise Iwon
J. Jeffers & Co.
Johnson Financial Group
Dorothy MacVicar
Jan Serr and John Shannon

Bronze Sponsors

Ellen and Joseph Albrecht
Andis Foundation
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Dave’s Wine Garage
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Bill and Debbie Keland
Susan Manalli
Jean and Alex Mandli, Jr.
The Prairie School
Cathy Stanghellin
Twin Disc, Inc.

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