TABLE OF CONTENTS
Takao Tanabe fonds:
Takao Tanabe was born in the British Columbian fishing village of Seal Cove (near Prince Rupert) in 1926. His early artistic training included three years at the Winnipeg School of Art, where he studied under Joseph Plaskett (b. 1918), followed by a year at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School (1951-1952), where he received instruction from Reuben Tam (1916-1991) and Hans Hofmann (1880-1966). After returning to Canada in 1952, Tanabe moved to Vancouver, where he became interested in book design and typography while also continuing to paint. In 1953 Tanabe was awarded an Emily Carr Scholarship, which enabled him to continue his studies abroad at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Further studies were undertaken in 1959 at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where Tanabe was instructed in sumi-e painting by the Japanese painter Ikuo Hirayama. In 1972 Tanabe was appointed artist-in-residence and head of the painting department at the Banff Centre School of Fine Art. In 1980 he settled permanently in the small community of Errington on Vancouver Island.
Tanabe's early work mainly reflects the influence of abstract expressionist painters like Hans Hofmann, with whom he studied at the Brooklyn Museum Art, as well as Japanese ink painting (sumi-e) and calligraphy, which he learned while at the Tokyo University of Arts. In the mid-1960s Tanabe began producing hard-edge geometric paintings. He moved away from works of this type in the early 1970s, when he began to paint diffuse semi-abstract landscapes inspired by the Canadian prairies. Since 1980, Tanabe's painting reflects the epic landscape and coast of British Columbia. His works are housed in private and public collections worldwide, including those of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. He is the recipient of the Order of British Columbia (1993), the Order of Canada (1999), two honorary doctorates, and the Governor General's Award in the Visual and Media Arts (2003). Tanabe continues to live and work in British Columbia.
The fonds consists of 10 buttons mounted on blue card stock, which includes the inscriptions "21/99" and "Takao Tanabe 1970." The buttons are reminiscent of the hard-edged geometric paintings produced by Tanabe from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s.
Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of collection.
The Tanabe buttons were donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by Joyce Zemans in 2008. Zemans obtained these items from the artist.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Philip Dombowsky in 2009.
[Title of item], Takao Tanabe fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.
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