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Nonie Gadsden

Toshiko Takaezu:
Shaping Abstraction

Monday, June 10, 2024

via Zoom


Toshiko Takaezu: Shaping Abstraction exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. September 30, 2023 to September 29, 2024. Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries, Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The Museum of Fine Arts' current exhibition 'Toshiko Takaezu: Shaping Abstraction' highlights the work of a technically masterful and innovative artist best known for her ceramic sculptures which she considered abstract paintings in the round. Toshiko Takaezu was a key figure in the reconceptualization of ceramics in the 1950s, shifting ideas from the functional craft tradition to the realm of fine art. This exhibition argues that Takaezu’s cross-cultural and multidisciplinary practice makes her one of the most compelling American Abstract artists of the 20th century. Hear from exhibition curator Nonie Gadsden, the MFA’s Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, about Takaezu’s gestural style, distinctive palettes, and complex layering of glazes, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the exhibition.

Ao-Ao, 1970, Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011). Wool, linen, silk, and rayon plain weave with knotted pile. Partial gift of The Takaezu Studio and Museum purchased with the John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund and funds donated by Suzanne Werber Dworsky. Reproduced with permission. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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Nonie Gadsden earned her B.A. from Yale College and her M.A. from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware. Gadsden is responsible for a wide range of artwork at the MFA including decorative arts and sculpture from North, Central and South America, from ancient times through the 20th century. Her recent work includes mounting the exhibition ‘Toshiko Takaezu: Shaping Abstraction’ (2023-24), serving as lead curator for ‘Women Take the Floor’ (2019-2021); developing new 20th century galleries, including “Art and Jazz” and “Folk Meets Modernism” (opened 2022); and publishing a book based on the MFA’s collection of American modern design, America Goes Modern: The Rise of the Industrial Designer (2022).

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