Michiko Itatani

Michiko Itatani is a Chicago based artist. She compares her process to writing fiction, unfolding a narrative over a series of works. In her often large-scale paintings, Itatani explores psychological, cultural, sociopolitical, and historical realms to envision the complex realities of the twenty-first century. Her work has been seen in more than one hundred exhibitions internationally since 1973. Itatani’s work is included in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Olympic Museum, Switzerland; Villa Haiss Museum, Germany; Museu D’art Contemporani (MACBA), Spain; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea; Hyogo Art Museum, Japan. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

“In my youth, I wanted to pursue writing fiction. I strongly believe in fiction’s ability to express the deepest truths. My conceptual process of painting is similar to writing a novel. After research and consideration, I make a series of paintings. Each painting could be compared to a chapter of a novel. I see my recent work as a series of fictions based on the human desire to reach out into the mental and physical space beyond our grasp-outward and inward. My fiction is incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry. Through this process, I am trying to come to terms with the complex reality of the 21st Century. And my vision stays pathetically optimistic.”