Michiko Itatani: Celestial Stage

Saturday, Oct 1, 2022 – Jan 28, 2023

659 W. Wrightwood
Chicago, IL 60614


Please note, Wrightwood 659 will be closed December 23 - 31, 2022 and will reopen on January 6, 2023. Exhibitions will run through January 28, 2023.

Michiko Itatani: Celestial Stage celebrates the work of Chicago-based American artist Michiko Itatani (b. 1948, Osaka, Japan) who has grappled with the mysteries of the universe in her work throughout her prolific career. Professor Emeritus at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she taught for 40 years, Itatani is represented in the permanent collections of public museums around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), Spain; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea; Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland; and the U.S. Embassy Brasilia, Brazil, among many others. With some 50 works, including paintings and drawings, Celestial Stage highlights Itatani’s prop-filled paintings—populated with invented devices that acknowledge the human desire to reach beyond one’s capacity to “know the unknown.” Her visual vocabulary includes particles, molecules, tesseracts, stars, planets, orbital rings, rockets, control panels, quantum computers, and black holes which mingle with helix staircases, libraries, globes, pianos, harps and chandeliers—symbols for the hallmarks of humanity and culture. Michiko Itatani: Celestial Stage deconstructs the artist’s paintings into the fundamental components which have occupied the entire span of her life’s work. Encompassing two floors, the survey includes a wide range of works, from paintings produced early in her practice to a selection of new work exhibited for the first time.