The exhibition features the artwork of Williams College faculty members Barbara Takenaga (American, b. 1949) and Ed Epping (American, v. 1948), and explores the theme of patterns, whether actual or implied. Though the projects in this exhibition are conceived disparately, the conjunction of the two artists introduces the possibility of confluence and raises some questions. Are there, for example, patterns at work in matter, whether real or imagined, that relate to patterns of custom such as language or behavior, whether individual or institutional?
Barbara Takenaga’s intricately painted images of abstract patterns seem to evoke either deepest outer space or microscopic inner space—galaxies or electrons. Intricately detailed, her paintings allow viewers to suspend their disbelief. Many of her paintings appear to be in motion as well, capitalizing on the involuntary retinal action of the human eye to certain color and shape combinations. In this way, she depicts a universe on indeterminate scale that appears to be actively expanding before our eyes.
Ed Epping’s work uses a linguistic curiosity as a portal into the heart of artistic practice by revealing the power of contingencies and relativities in shaping understanding and communication. The seductive beauty of his art—softly rendered digital prints—lures us like the Siren’s song to the edge of a river. Once there we discover that meaning, like a river, is ever-shifting and ultimately more fraught than we may have imagined. Epping conceives of this new print series as film stills for a future project he will call “Poise.” The film centers on the three characters, M, W, and A, who make their debut in this exhibition.