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Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art presents

MICHIKO ITATANI : COSMIC WANDERLUST

November 6 - December 20, 2014

Exhibition Location: Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art 2004 Baltimore Avenue Kansas City, MO 64108 816.221.2626 www.sherryleedy.com


Originally from Japan, Michiko Itatani once envisioned a career as a fiction writer. All that changed in 1970 when she was advised to gain life experience by “going somewhere that she had never been and doing something that she had never done”. Itatani left her home in Japan for the United States, enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and, in the process, translated her passion for writing into painting. In her current exhibition, Cosmic Wanderlust, Itatani has created a world of dreams. The visual poetry of her imagination invites the viewer into enchanted spaces. Radiant chandeliers light an opulent theater. A library holds glowing planets as globes. A magical moonlit landscape seems inhabited by fairies or ghosts. Many are painted in miniature, the size you could hold in your hand, the size of a meditation or a book of prayers. Itatani often describes her painting process in terms of writing, composing each phrase, paragraph, and chapter. Over the course of her career she has become a painter who writes paintings and a writer who paints novels. She has been called a world traveler informed by her experiences in transit. Cosmic Wanderlust celebrates the complexity, beauty and creativity that are our better nature. Itatani now calls Chicago home and has been a professor of painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1979. She has received many prestigious awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship among many others. Her work is held in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; American Embassy Permanent Collection, Brasilia, Brazil; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, Museum D’art Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain and numerous others.


“Cosmic Wanderlust” from HyperBaroque 13-D-7 Oil on Canvas, 2013 51” x 34” 3


“Personal Codes” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-26 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 6” x 6” 4


“Silver River Prelude” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-29 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 6” x 6”

“Ascending Order” from HyperBaroque 14-K-01 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2014 6” x 6” 5


“Personal Codes” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-24 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 6” x 6”

“Piano Room” from Cosmic Theater 13-K-10 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 6” x 6” 6


“Cosmic Wanderlust” from Cosmic Theater 13-D-6 Oil on Canvas, 2013 20” x 28” 7


“Ascending Order” from HyperBaroque 14-K-2 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2014 6” x 6” 8


“Personal Codes” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-39 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 5” x 5”

“Personal Codes” from C Gouache, Ink & Prismaco 5” x 9


CTRL-Home / Echo 14-K-5 olor on Clay Board, 2014 x 5”

“Personal Codes” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-22 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 5” x 5” 10


“Cosmic Wanderlust” from Cosmic Theater 13-D-5 Oil on Canvas, 2013 28” x 20” 11


“Impact” from Cosmic Theater 14-K-08 Gouache & Ink on Board, 2014 6” x 6” 12


“Personal Codes” from Waiting Game / Echo 13-K-30 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2013 6” x 6”

“Cosmic Wanderlust” from Moon Jar 10-K-15 Gouache, Ink & Prismacolor on Clay Board, 2010 6” x 6” 13


“Stairway” from Cosmic Theater 13-D-3 Oil on Canvas, 2013 51” x 34” 14


Michiko Itatani: Cosmic Wanderlust  
Michiko Itatani: Cosmic Wanderlust