Walsh Gallery

Michiko Itatani : Personal Codes

CW 3

Dates: Feb 9 2010 - Apr 17 2010

Opening Reception: Feb 12 2010

February 9 - April 17, 2010

opening reception: Feb. 12 (5-8 pm)


Established Chicago artist Michiko Itatani debuts a new path in paintings at Walsh Gallery.



Chicago artist Michiko Itatani debuts a new path in paintings at Walsh Gallery.  After more than 30 years of making paintings, Michiko Itatani explores a new series called "Personal Codes."  This is her most personal and autobiographical work to date.  These large scale, mostly monochromatic paintings reflect the artist's recent experiences, past events, and even the future. "Personal Codes" opens Friday Feb.12 from 5 -8 pm.  The show runs until April 17.  The artist will be present at her opening reception.

Ms. Itatani's painting process parallels her passion for writing fiction. In her youth she wanted to be a writer.  Now her paintings are made in tribute to the way a novel is created.  After a focused study of issues, a series of paintings unfolds.  While these paintings mimic the chapters of a book, a new exploration of concerns can drastically change the appearance of the work.  As Ms.Itatani says, "I retain certain characteristics of myself in all my work."

Ms.Itatani has been influenced by diverse architecture and landscapes such as the Dripstone Wall of the Wallenstein Palace in Prague to the White Sand Sea of Jisho-in in Kyoto. As Ms.Itatani says,

These parallel achievements in different places at the same period captivate me. Both demonstrate to me their extreme maturity of concepts and their contradictions. Their extreme development seems to be toward the opposites: West went to additive, ecstatic and anthropomorphous, East went to reductive, meditative and symbolic.  West commands physical and emotional participation, while East commands abandonment of them.

In "Personal Codes" two series of work create diametrically conflicting personal bodies of work:  "Hyper Baroque" and "Moon Light/Mooring."  These paintings explore one's intimate desire for self-discovery both in the mental and physical realms beyond our grasp.  Ms.Itatani explores psychological, cultural, sociopolitical, and historical realms to help her envision the complex realities of the 21st. century.  In "Personal Codes" Ms.Itatani has done just that.  As Ms. Itatani concludes, "I am dealing with the idea of fiction.  I strongly believe in fiction's ability to express the deepest truths."

Michiko Itatani's work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her works are in many public and private collections including both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.  She currently teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she has been teaching for 30 years.