Masako Takahashi

(b.1944)

Biography
Masako Takahashi was born at a Japanese relocation center in Topaz, Utah, where her parents were interned for four years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. After the war, the Takahashi family returned to San Francisco where they had lived before the war and their internment. Masako attended the San Francisco Art Institute after winning a 1st Prize Painting Scholarship in 1960. She also attended Bard College in New York and graduated with a BA in Art from University of California at Berkeley. Takahashi believed that she would always be a painter, although she describes having a “quest for art without a particular medium attached”. After graduating from UC Berkeley she went to New York to explore documentary filmmaking, but decided that she preferred the relative solitude of a being a painter and studio artist. Takahashi was also strongly influenced by her travels. She maintained a studio in Mexico where she was inspired watching local women embroidering. Here she began the embroidery work for which she is best-known, using her own long hair as thread. She used fabric as paper and embroidered simple stiches or “words” inspired by ancient script. Her intent was to inscribe a language created by her, “a universal language that could be interpreted individually” (from An American Artist – Masako Takahashi interview by Roben Mitchell, 2006). In many ways, Masako Takahashi sees her work as a meditation, making marks that are personal and meaningful to her. She sees in her work a certain restraint and purpose that is perhaps influenced by her heritage. Art, she says, for the artist, is a way to express oneself in a way that language cannot convey.

Selected Exhibitions
2009 “Global Warming”, Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2008 “Illiterature”, Limn Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006 “Masako Takahashi”, Galeria Mero, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2005 “Masako Takahashi” Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2001 “HAIR”, Gallery Soolip, Los Angeles, CA
1996 “Emotional Tones”, El Espacio Abierto, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
1995 “Latent August”, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA
1993 “Salon II”, Art in General, New York, NY
1990 “Ancestors Known and Unknown”, a traveling exhibition , starting in NYC, to Galleries and University Museums across the USA

 

Masako Takahashi, c. 1960, 22″ x 16.5″

Masako Takahashi, c. 1960, 18″ x 14″

Masako Takahashi, c. 1960, 34″ x 20″

Masako Takahashi, c. 1960, 33″ x 20″

Masako Takahashi, 19″ x 20″, c. 1960

-Sold- Masako Takahashi, 20″ x 26″, c.1960

Masako Takahashi, 29″ x 32″, c. 1960

-Sold- Masako Takahashi, 61″ x 54″, c. 1960