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Takao Tanabe

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Victoria BC Oct 7-Jan 2, 2006

Takao Tanabe - North of Cortland
Takao Tanabe, North of Cortland (1972), acrylic on canvas [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria BC, Oct 7-Jan 2]


In the first major survey of works by British Columbia painter Takao Tanabe, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibits six decades of painting. Curator Ian Thom has included early abstracts from the 1950s, hard-edged paintings of the 1960s and prairie paintings of the 1970s. At the centre of the exhibition are Tanabe’s large-format landscape paintings from 1980 to 2005, including several over 18 feet long. 

Takao Tanabe - Queen Charlotte
Takao Tanabe, Queen Charlotte


Takao Tanabe was born in 1926 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. He has exhibited continuously in Canada since 1959 and currently works in his studio in Errington, Vancouver Island. Through hundreds of acrylic paintings, watercolours and wood block prints, he has incorporated a Japanese sensibility towards colour and composition with North American stylistic treatments. He is particularly renowned for his vistas of sea and sky inspired by British Columbia’s West Coast.

Takao Tanabe - The Land
Takao Tanabe, The Land


Through his seascapes and prairie images, Tanabe alludes not only to the immensity of the Canadian landscape but to a more metaphysical experience of space. In 2001 he wrote, “The West Coast [has] just enough detail to make it interesting, but not so clear as to be banal or overwhelming. It can be a metaphor for life.” Tanabe has been honoured with the Order of B.C. in 1993, the Order of Canada in 1999 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual Arts and Media in 2003 for his outstanding vision and skill.

www.aggv.bc.ca

Mia Johnson

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