Michiko Itatani

Michiko Itatani

Gallery Y and Gallery X: Michiko Itatani “Cosmic Kaleidoscope”

September 6 – October 19, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, September 6, 2013, 6–9pm

Linda Warren Projects is thrilled to open the fall exhibition season in Chicago with “Cosmic Kaleidoscope,” a solo show by one of Chicago’s most prolific and established painters, Michiko Itatani. For the first time, a single artist will be exhibiting in both Gallery X and Gallery Y, a testament to the voluminous output of new work from Itatani and the tremendous scale of her epic paintings. Itatani has been exhibiting in Chicago and around the world for over 40 years, and Linda Warren Projects is proud to be representing Itatani and hosting her first solo exhibition with the gallery, “Cosmic Kaleidoscope.”

Michiko Itatani, "Cosmic Wanderlust" painting from CTRL-HOME/Echo CRH-7, 2011, oil on canvas, 96" x 78"

Michiko Itatani, “Cosmic Wanderlust” painting from CTRL-HOME/Echo CRH-7, 2011, oil on canvas, 96″ x 78″

“Itatani often refers to her oeuvre as resembling the path of a novel, each body of work acting as a sort of “chapter” in an overall plot, and her “novel” continually grows richer as more chapters are composed. Appearing in this exhibition are examples from several recent chapters of the Itatani epic. Baroque libraries, the depositories of past and future histories, have long been present in Itatani’s work; “Cosmic Wanderlust” painting from Cosmic Theater CWC-4 features winding staircases and solar systems of wood-mounted globes lending an air of both homey certainty and interplanetary mystery. In other works, such as “Cosmic Wanderlust” painting from CTRL-HOME/Echo CRH-7, Japanese architectural interiors supply a gridded, formal symmetry as well as nod to the artist’s childhood memories. While in some works, the interiors are stable and grounded, in “Cosmic Kaleidoscope” painting from Pattern Recognition PR-3, the grid’s uniformity is obliterated as it winds into a starry oblivion. Prominent in this exhibition is “Cosmic Wanderlust” painting from Virtual Eitoku, an enormous, two panel painting, unique from the others on display in its depiction of the living form. The viewers familiar with the artist’s work will recognize the two androgynous creatures as representatives of the “earthlings” for Itatani. Side by side in the midst of whirling celestial space, these recurring characters of the Itatani epic symbolize human relationships as a stabilizing force in the universe’s tumult.”

-Robin Dluzen, excerpt from forthcoming catalog essay

Michiko Itatani was born in Kobe, Japan, and received her MFA in 1976 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently a Professor. Itatani has shown widely around the globe, and her work can be found in such prestigious collections as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain; and Tokoha Museum, Shizuoka, Japan. Itatani has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Union League Club of Chicago’s “Distinguished Artists” Membership Award, and a National Endowment for Art, Artist’s Fellowship amongst many others. Itatani is represented by Linda Warren Projects, and this is her first exhibition with the gallery.