Japanese Version

Japanese Ceramics by Joan B. Mirviss

January, 2016

Landscapes in Clay: Masanao Kaneta

by Joan B. Mirviss

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An eighth-generation Hagi potter, KANETA Masanao (b. 1953) has reached beyond his extended patrimony to create a truly sculptural oeuvre grounded in functionality. Due to his training as a sculptor, Kaneta’s forms have a strong and dramatic presence that sets them apart from the work of other artists from the ancient ceramic center of Hagi. Using centuries-old glazes, he creates unique, readily identifiable functional and non-functional forms. Kuri-nuki, his signature technique in which Kaneta scoops out a sculpted mound of clay instead of shaping it on a wheel, enables him to boldly depart from the long-established Hagi traditions. He further believes that the final form is the result of a dialogue, or even a confrontation, between his consciousness and the natural spirit of the clay itself.

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Having unconditionally accepted the physical and chemical restrictions of his media, Kaneta actually chooses to engage these limitations. Both complying and struggling with them, he approaches his material with a tenacious, wild energy that is unlike anything found in conventional formation processes. This is the energy of his struggle with “the natural spirit of the lump of clay” to produce a form.

–Kenji Kaneko, director, Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum

 

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A master of the noborigama, or multi-chambered climbing kiln, Kaneta is able to control and effectuate a remarkable range of coloration and kiln effects in his work. Utilizing the unctuous, creamy white-pink glazes that have been the hallmark of Hagi ware for centuries, Kaneta achieves a balanced conflict between form and surface, in which the classical glaze defines and accentuates the rugged, mountainous features of his ceramic sculptures. The resulting aesthetic is highly evocative of the dramatic landscape found in his native home, Hagi. As the artist explains of his inspiration,

 

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Mountainous ridge lines, whether created inevitably or by chance, are not just the outline of a simple form but are also an invitation to imagine what lies beyond, to transcend the realm of human vision. The strength of these ridgelines is characteristic of the spirit of modeling clay; it is my medium that guides me through this unexplored world.

 

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Among the prominent US museums featuring Kaneta’s work in their permanent collections are the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; Brooklyn Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art; as well as the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo in Japan. Kaneta Masanao currently serves as professor of ceramics at Tsukuba University, outside of Tokyo. He has been lauded both as a ceramist and a contemporary artist, awarded several important prizes and featured in numerous solo exhibitions around the world.

 

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Landscapes in Clay was shown at SALON: ART + DESIGN (November 12 – 16) and at JOAN B MIRVISS LTD (November 23 – December 18)

Additional Articles by Joan B Mirviss

Akiyama Yo
Machiko Ogawa
Kawase Shinobu 

Joan B. Mirviss is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in many areas of Japanese modern and antique art for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.  http://www.mirviss.com/


September, 2015

Fujikasa Satoko Ceramic Artist

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By Joan B. Mirviss……

With a waiting list of curators and collectors that extended back several years, the much-anticipated first international exhibition of Fujikasa Satoko’s gravity-defying sculptures has completely sold out one month before even opening! 

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Her ceramic sculptures appear to be made of the lightest gauze fabric, being swirled and swept up as if being caught in gusts of wind or swelling eddies. Others embody the vitality of flourishing plants, stretching out and unfurling before one’s eyes. They all capture glimpses of nature’s most vivacious movements, creating a synergy between the solidity of clay and intangible forces. Fujikasa (b. 1980) elucidates on the inspiration behind her fluid and dynamic artworks,

“It is through my intimate dialogue with my medium that I am able to express nature’s fluid energy. Drawing from both the beauty and power of this world and the emotional response that they evoke, I hope to convey nature’s life force in the mind of the viewer.”

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Due to the time-consuming nature of Fujikasa’s creative process, this exhibition only includes thirteen works created over the course of two years. They are handbuilt by carefully melding together thin coils of highly desirable, coarse yet pliable, clay from Shigaraki. Due to the extraordinary thinness of the sculpture’s walls, varying from two centimeters to three millimeters, controlling the drying time is the most difficult aspect of her technique. Thus, it can take months to complete a single work. 

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In 2011, just after one year out of graduate school at the prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts, Fujikasa burst upon the art scene with her prize-winning solo exhibition at the Hagi Uragami Museum. Since then, ten of her major works have entered the collections of prominent museums in Japan, France and the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Musée Cernuschi in Paris, where they remain on continuous view. 

Joan B. Mirviss is the leading western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, Joan B. Mirviss LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in her field for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors and corporations. 

 

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FUJIKASA SATOKO (b. 1980)

Title: Hiten: Seraphim

Date: 2015

Media: Stoneware with white slip glaze

Dimensions: 25 x 23 1/2 x 17 in.

Potter’s Mark:  FS (incised on base)

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FUJIKASA SATOKO (b. 1980)

Title: Sen: Rotation

Date: 2015

Media: Stoneware with translucent matte glaze

Dimensions: 24 3/4 x 22 x 18 in.

Potter’s Mark:  FS (incised on base)

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FUJIKASA SATOKO (b. 1980)

Title: Soar

Date: 2015

Media: Stoneware with white slip glaze

Dimensions: 19 x 17 1/4 x 12 1/4 in.

Potter’s Mark:  FS (incised on base)

Photography by Yano Masaya

 

For more information or to request high-resolution images, please contact Wendy Fuglestad at 212-799-4021 or by email to director@mirviss.com 

Joan B. Mirviss Ltd.
JAPANESE ART Antique – Contemporary
39 East 78th Street, 4th Floor | New York NY 10075
Telephone 212 799 4021 | www.mirviss.com


May, 2015

A MOMENT IN TIME: AKIYAMA YŌ AND KITAMURA JUNKO

APRIL 27 – MAY 29, 2015

By Joan B. Mirviss

I am thrilled to present the first US joint-exhibition of critically acclaimed clay artists Akiyama Yō and Kitamura Junko. Featuring twenty dynamic works ranging from delicately inlaid vessels to large-scale sculptural abstractions, this important exhibition will highlight the decidedly different yet equally compelling styles of the celebrated Kyoto-based artistic couple. This showing will explore each artist’s response to the primary and tactile connotations of clay as a medium and examine their mutual considerations on destruction, renewal and metamorphosis. AKIYAMA YŌ: A dominating force in Japanese contemporary art, Akiyama Yō (b 1953) continues to gain global recognition for his powerful sculptural works manifested through a passionate engagement with the physicality of clay. Few artists have done more in recent years to bring contemporary Japanese ceramic arts to global attention. His signature unglazed, fractured forms have established him at the forefront of international contemporary sculpture through sold-out solo exhibitions and museum acquisitions spanning East to West.

 

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Returning to Joan B Mirviss for a third time following his sold-out solo exhibitions in 2011 and 2007, Akiyama presents new works of varying scale created specifically for this show. These powerful unglazed stoneware forms, imbedded with iron filings, appear as if extracted from the earth’s core. Evoking windswept rock or cooled magma, Akiyama’s unique surface treatments seem to capture forms as if in a perpetual state of destruction and regeneration, leading viewers on a visual journey from the beginning of the earth through the end of time.

 

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Akiyama Yō’s works grace many important collections and museums around the world, including: Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; Faenza International Ceramic Museum, Italy; Musée national de Céramique de Sèvres, France; National Museums of Modern Art, Kyoto and Tokyo; Museum, Honolulu; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo; and Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He currently serves as the chairman of the prestigious ceramics department at Kyoto City University of Arts.

 

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KITAMURA JUNKO: A key figure in an artistic sphere that is increasingly assuming center stage, Kitamura Junko (b 1956), like fellow pioneering female Japanese ceramicists Koike Shōko, Katsumata Chieko, and Ogawa Machiko, creates conceptually daring works far beyond traditional ties to functionality. Part of two groundbreaking US exhibitions on Japanese ceramics, Contemporary Ceramics for the New Century in 2005 at the MFA Boston and 2009’s Smith College Museum of Fine Art’s celebrated, Touch Fire:

Contemporary Ceramics by Women Artists, Kitamura has solidified her standing among the leaders of contemporary clay art. Presented in a range of dramatic new profiles, works in this exhibition feature Kitamura’s signature, intricate lace-like patterns that appear to arise and break away in rippling, wave-like designs in white slip inlay juxtaposed against a dark, matte, black slip-covered body. These miniscule concentric dots and geometric punchings meld together with adjoining configurations to make intricate designs suggesting textile patterns, snowflakes or celestial constellations.

 

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Kitamura Junko’s works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the globe and are in the permanent collections of: British Museum, London; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Kyoto; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian, Washington DC, among many others.

 

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Akiyama’s ceramic creations allude to the transformations that have sculpted the earth” (Robert Mintz, Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art, Walters Art Museum, 2014)

Akiyama belongs to the most important group of Japanese present-day sculptors. I would rather call him a magician” (Frank Steyaert, Ceramics Art and Perception, 2005)

 

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“(Akiyama’s) pieces have a density that seems to convey the compressed vibrations of the earth itself” (Kazuko Todate and Anne Nishimura, Fired Earth, Woven Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics and Bamboo Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2013)

“(Kitamura’s) tiny stamped motifs accumulate to form clusters and as they repeat—perhaps already hinting at a specific design – they eventually lose their regularity and dissolve into a kind of froth, an organic flux from which the overall pattern emerges.” (Soaring Voices, Contemporary Japanese Ceramic Artists, Shigaraki Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, 2007)

 

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“(Kitamura’s) process results in a dramatic movement of motifs which resemble metempsychosis of nature.” (Generosity in Clay: Modern Japanese Ceramics from Natalie Fitz-Gerald Collection, Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, CA, 2009)

“Fragile, light and voluptuous” (Joe Earle, Contemporary Ceramics for the New Century, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2005)

 

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Joan B. Mirviss is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in many areas of Japanese modern and antique art for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.

http://www.mirviss.com/


January, 2015

Ceramic Artist Machiko Ogawa
A solo exhibition of the work of ceramist Machiko Ogawa, entitled “Lunar Fragments,” was recently shown at the Joan B Mirviss, LTD Gallery in New York.  Her second show at the gallery, Ogawa presented a new body of work featuring boulder-like sculptures of unglazed porcelain with translucent, crystallized formed glass. The artist draws her inspiration for these elemental, yet strikingly modern pieces from a life-long interest in rocks and minerals. In another series, her forms suggest deconstructed and broken vessel fragments and contain interior pools of clear blue glass. Renown for her technical skill, she blends feldspar, silica, and glass with porcelain and stoneware in her sculptural works. Her teabowls likewise demonstrate her acumen with materials with their bold, unctuous and varied glazes poured over rough, powerful stoneware forms.

 

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Joan B. Mirviss is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in many areas of Japanese modern and antique art for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.

http://www.mirviss.com/


September, 2014

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Three standing vases 13×5 3/4″(l); 19 1/2×7 3/4″( c); 16×5 1/4″(r)

Photography by Ôtsuka Toshiyuki

by Joan Mirviss:    Kawase Shinobu: Turning the Page on Celedon History   In honor of our first meeting thirty years ago, next month, I am thrilled to be presenting our gallery’s third solo exhibition of the celadon master Kawase Shinobu (September 15th–October 31st, 2014). It was in 1983 at the Japan Ceramics Today exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC that I first fell in love with his work and soon thereafter arranged to meet him on my next trip to Japan. Even in those early years, the seductiveness of his forms and glazing proved irresistible. In honor of our first meeting thirty years ago, next month, I am thrilled to be presenting our gallery’s third solo exhibition of the celadon master Kawase Shinobu. 

 

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Seiji five-pointed bowl 5 1/4″ x 13 3/4″

Potting by age eighteen, Kawase Shinobu (b. 1950) was taught by his grandfather, Kawase Chikushun I and father, Chikushun II, both potters of blue-and-white and wucai polychrome ware. Through a fortuitous timing accident in his firing, the young Kawase created a piece with a glaze that resembled Song Dynasty official (Kuan) celadon ware. Soon thereafter he traveled abroad to study firsthand these celadon ceramics at museums in Taiwan, and then later in China and Europe. The interplay between the softness of the clay body and the suppleness of the glaze, together with the clarity of the silhouettes of these antique vessels, spoke directly to his aesthetic appreciation of the medium. 

 

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Studio view of drying bowls

Over the past forty years, Kawase has refined his own formulas for the ideal blue-green color through extensive and meticulous testing, blending in iron oxide, yellow sand, and sometimes even magnetic powder  (used in the production of recording tape.)  His works are created from both red porcelainous stoneware and white porcelain; his organic forms, all drawn from nature, are both painstakingly perfect and sensuous. In 1981, Kawase was the youngest ceramist to have ever been awarded the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Prize. This past year, he was further honored as the recipient of the Ceramic Society’s lifetime achievement award, the Gold Prize. 

 

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Suiji teabowl  2 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches

Dubbed In Japan seiji sensei or Master of Celadon, this year, Kawase has introduced a dynamic new body of work in this exhibition featuring his tenmoku-style celadon glaze that he has termed suiji glaze.  Even for an artist as exacting and methodical as Kawase, who uses only the highest quality clay from both China and Japan and never releases a piece with a single flaw, this glazing technique is extremely difficult and is suitable only for smaller-scale works.  Each vessel requires up to eight separate firings.  It is only in the final firing process that an intricately feathered pattern emerges and variations in color from a rich jade green to deep burgundy and crimson are revealed.  Continually mining his natural surroundings for inspiration, the artist likens this affect and coloration to the flamboyant plumage of the kingfisher.  With his new suiji glaze, Kawase states he’s “moving into a new world of challenges,” but does so focusing on the most revered and elemental form in Japanese ceramics – the teabowl. 

 

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Interior of suiji teabowl

“With his new suiji teabowls, evocative of Song Dynasty rabbit’s hair tenmoku, Kawase has turned the page on celadon history.” —-Hayashiya Seizō, Curator Emeritus Tokyo National Museum and Musée Tomo, Tosetsu Magazine, July 2014

 

Joan B. Mirviss is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the topJapanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in many areas of Japanese modern and antique art for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.

http://www.mirviss.com/

 

Author: stevebeimel

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