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Takako Yamaguchi and Anna Katz in Conversation

Takako Yamaguchi, Untitled (White Dress), 2012–17, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in. (121.9 x 91.4 cm). Photo by Gene Ogami.

CANCELED: Takako Yamaguchi and Anna Katz in Conversation


MOCA has taken specific measures to keep our visitors and staff healthy and safe. We have been monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) closely and in line with suggestions from The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we have decided to cancel Takako Yamaguchi and Anna Katz in Conversation in an effort to help with containment. There is no immediate threat or cause for concern at MOCA, but we feel taking these measures are in the best interest of our broader Los Angeles community. MOCA Grand Avenue galleries and WAREHOUSE at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA are currently temporarily closed. Please continue to check our website for any additional updates.

The Pattern and Decoration–era work of Los Angeles–based artist Takako Yamaguchi stages the dynamics of cultural and aesthetic appropriation. As an art student in the United States, Yamaguchi, who was born and raised in Japan, was confronted with her peers’ and teachers’ insistence that Japanese art was minimal. Her response to this misunderstanding of the outsize role of the decorative in Japanese art was to summon in her own art the excess and opulence of traditional Japanese painting, such as the gold-leaf grounds of folding screens and the designs of kimono robes. In this way, her work maps a complex terrain: responding to the American avant-garde’s consumption of Japan as a “Disneyland of minimalism,” Yamaguchi highlighted the maximal, decorative aspects of Japanese art. So, too, she poked holes in what she perceived as the monomaniacal fixation of American art discourse on undermining beauty. Yamaguchi joins MOCA Curator Anna Katz in a conversation about her work in the exhibition.

This is an intimate, in-gallery program with limited seating. Please RSVP by contacting to reserve your seat.