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Akio Takamori
Sleeping Figures
February 21-March 27, 2004
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     In a one person show at Frank Lloyd Gallery from February 21óMarch 27, Akio Takamori presents a new installation of his well-known ceramic figures. Lying down with their eyes closed, the Sleeping Figures rest blissfully on tatami mats.  Intricately rendered and skillfully painted in Takamori's characteristic graphic style, each figure has a unique and carefully crafted identity. Comprised of men and women, young and old, Takamori's Sleeping Figures celebrate the human capacity for rest and peace.   Takamori, born and raised in Japan, has been working in the United States since 1974. Drawing upon Asian and American culture, childhood memories of Japan and his experiences in the United States, Takamori creates work that is truly cross-cultural.  In recent years he has focused on figurative sculpture.  Creating communities of figures, he deals with the interplay between history, tradition and modern life.  His hand-built figures, with their calligraphic brush strokes and solid form, command attention. In his latest installation, Takamori addresses the universal, transcendent acts of sleeping and dreaming. With his Sleeping Figures, he enlivens the mundane act of sleep, creating an entrancing scene on the gallery floor.    Over the past thirty years, Takamori has been recognized for his continually evolving interpretations of the human form.  From the dramatic vessel-based works of the 1980's and early 90's to the subdued and intimate figurative sculptures of recent years, his technical finesse and emotional sensibility are always evident.  Included in many private and public collections around the world, Takamori's work constitutes an important contribution to the long tradition of figurative sculpture.  Museum collections include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.