1335  Gusdorf  Rd. Suite i
Taos, NM  87571
[ 575 ]  751 - 1262  -  email: art@203fineart.com

 Micho Takayama (1903-1994)


Michio Takayama was a painter committed to his art first and foremost, who expressed his visions of both inner beauty and physical majesty in richly-layered, vibrant abstract paintings. He was an unlikely Taos resident, having been born in turn-of-the-century rural Japan and educated to carry on the family business. But through his unwavering commitment to his art, and a series of unforeseen circumstances, Mr. Takayama found Taos, a place that reflected the vastness of his mind and heart and a place where he could express himself completely with his palette knife and brushes.

Michio Takayama was born on October 11, 1903, in Chiba prefecture, Japan, the first son of a country squire. Following his father’s wishes, he studied law at university and embarked on a banking career in Tokyo.

After work and on weekends, he painted, including eight years of study (1931-39) with noted Japanese landscape painter Shin Kurihara. In 1939, following a series of successes in the modern art community, Michio quit his banking job, and turned to painting full-time. His father promptly disowned him.

Michio won prestigious awards, including one for which he was presented a sword by Prime Minister Tojo. He was a jurying member and active leader in the Niki Artists’ Association. He also traveled extensively in Japan, Taiwan and Manchuria to sketch and paint.

In November 1956, Michio and his wife, Yaye, went to Los Angeles to attend their daughter’s wedding. During the visit, Yaye was diagnosed with cancer and required immediate medical care. This required that she stay in the U.S. beyond their tourist visas. At that time, Michio was exhibiting at the Landau Gallery, (where he later held three successful one-man shows,) and Felix Landau and Illinois Congressman Sidney Yates helped Michio and Yaye acquire their permanent residency visas.

In the summer of 1966, Michio and Yaye were introduced to Toas by a former painting student. It was on that trip that Michio made his first drawings and became enamored with the scenery. The Takayamas moved to Taos in April 1967 to take up their fellowship at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency program. They built their home and studio in Taos, where Michio, inspired daily by the uninterrupted views of Taos Mountain and thebeautiful sunsets, painted and exclaimed, "Taos is best!”

Michio Takayama showed his work in museums and galleries, primarily in the Southwest and Southern California, until the end of his life. He died on January 9, 1994.

Selected works currently in our inventory :

Images are not to scale.

(Select image above to view Legends of Taos Series - RC Ellis & Michio Takayama exhibition catalogue)


oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  22" H x 20" W

oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  20" H x 20" W

"Fantasia Romanesque"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  36" H x 40" W

"Sun Dew Point"
oil on linen - 1976
  50" H x 44" W

"June Bride"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  30" H x 24" W

"Sky Song Red"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  19" H x 51" W

oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  26" H x 30" W

"Flageolet in Red"
oil on canvas- 1966
  40" H x 40" W

"Untitled Yellow Abstract"
oil on canvas - 1966
  30" H x 40" W

"Wedding to the Moon with the Mountain"
oil on canvas - 1963
  40" H x 22" W

"Orange & Yellow Abstract"
oil on canvas - 1966
  40" H x 36" W

"Unknown Fable"
oil on canvas - 1965
  25" H x 13" W

oil on canvas - c. 1970's
  30" H x 36" W

oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  16" H x 37" W

"Birth of Tempest"
oil on canvas - 1977
  36" H x 30" W

"Space Walker"
oil on canvas - 1970s
  36 3/4" H x 20 1/2" W

"Evening Crane"
oil on linen - c. 1970's
  50" H x 45" W

"Autumnal Coronation"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  34" H x 36" W - SOLD

oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  20" H x 20" W - SOLD

"Portal Toledo"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  40" H x 35" W  - SOLD

"Mind of Autumn"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  12" H x 24" W - SOLD

oil on canvas - 1979
  35" H x 25" W - SOLD

"Lingering Dream"
oil on canvas - c. 1970s
  31 1/2" H x 35 1/2" W - SOLD

"Sun Rider" 
oil on canvas - c. 1960's
  36" H x 18" W -  SOLD

"Ancient Story" 
oil on canvas  - c. 1970's
46" H x 30" W -  SOLD

"Spirit of the Forest"
oil on canvas - c. 1960's
30" H x 50" W - SOLD

oil on canvas - c. 1960's
  25" H x 13" W - SOLD

"New Constellation"
oil on canvas - c. 1980
  18" H x 14" W - SOLD