Artwork by Takao Tanabe,  The Prairies W

Takao Tanabe
The Prairies W

acrylic on canvas
signed lower right; signed, titled and dated 1975 on the reverse
16 x 26 ins ( 40.6 x 66 cms )

Auction Estimate: $9,000.00$7,000.00 - $9,000.00

Price Realized $8,260.00
Sale date: November 20th 2018

Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto (1978)
Private Collection, Ontario
Robin Laurence, “A Landscaper of Many Colours: Tak Tanabe in Profile”, Border Crossings, Volume 16, Number 1, February 1997, page 42
Tanabe was Head of the Art Department at the Banff School of Fine Arts from 1973 to 1980. During his tenure, he was painting dramatic semi-abstract landscapes. One of his favoured subjects were the foothills found at the edge of the prairies. In an interview for Border Crossings, Tanabe remarked on his attachment to the subject: “What I want is this completely unoccupied, pristine land, as though I'm the first person to see it. It's lonely, it's mysterious, it has wonderful appeal to me. I feel great kinship with it.” In “The Prairies W”, Tanabe illustrates this barren prairie landscape, completely void of human presence or industry. The calming blue and green bands of translucent acrylic, with a hint of yellow along the horizon, present a subject referencing landscape in its colour palette alone; the canvas hovers beautifully between the figurative and the abstract.

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Takao Tanabe
(1926) RCA

Born in British Columbia in 1926, Takao Tanabe has been an important figure in Canadian painting for over 50 years. Tanabe studied in Europe, the United States, and Japan. Following a decade as head of the art program and artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre, he returned to British Columbia in 1980 where he currently lives and works.