PAINTED CLAY: Wada Morihiro and Modern Ceramics of Japan
Wada Morihiro (1944-2008) has long been revered as a master of intricate ceramic surface decoration. For Asia Week New York, Joan B Mirviss LTD is thrilled to present an exhibition of his oeuvre alongside the many Japanese artists who paint on clay, employing a wide range of techniques. These works of painted clay will be shown alongside modern Japanese paintings from Gallery Shibunkaku. A published catalogue with essays will accompany the exhibition.
Tall zig-zag vessel with “Connected Flower-buds Pattern" (renraimonki)
2 7/8 x 8 3/4 x 7 7/8 in.
One of the most popular clay artists of his generation, Wada Morihiro large shows often sold out within hours of opening. Wada employed a broad range of surface patterning using a multiplicity of techniques, including slip decoration, inlay, wax-resist, carving, underglaze, and blown-on glaze.
Moving from Kyoto, where he was the student of Tomimoto Kenkichi for several years, to Kasama in Ibaraki Prefecture enabled him to break free of the more classical aesthetics of Kyoto and develop his own repertoire of motifs and techniques that were more closely aligned to the work of local master Kamoda Shōji. For several decades, Wada was the most respected Japanese artist working with polychrome decorated surfaces. His sudden and early death in 2008 left an enormous hole in the world of contemporary Japanese ceramics.
Price on Request
Large standing vessel decorated with “Repeated Rectangular Pattern" (kanmonki)
17 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.
Wada Morihiro was one of the most popular clay artists of his generation whose work was in great demand throughout his lifetime. He paired his powerful sculptural vessels with intricately painted, abstracted patterns of grasses, cedar, and other captivating nature-based designs. In 1987, Wada Morihiro won the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Prize. His work can be found in the collections of major international museums, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Musée national de céramique, Sèvres, France; Hamilton Gallery, Australia; Faenza International Museum of Ceramics, Italy; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan.
Kokushū Yūnami; "Black and Rust: Evening Wave"
12 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 7 1/8 in.
Morino Hiroaki Taimei is acclaimed for his ability to create elegant and bold forms that can stand alone or work as functional vessels. A designer of the highest caliber, Morino fashions surface patterns that beautifully reflect his Kyoto heritage. In addition, he specializes in large-scale sculptural works and has received many important commissions. Aside from his classical ceramic training with Living National Treasures Tomimoto Kenkichi and Fujimoto Yoshimichi Nōdō, Morino was also influenced early on by his time teaching at the University of Chicago. He has participated in hundreds of shows in Japan, Europe, the United States, and Australia.
Anagama-fired dancing figural vase on three feet
ca. 2007 and re-fired in 2018
Bizen stoneware with kiln effects and painted black glaze
12 5/8 x 9 1/2 x 9 1/4 in.
Kakurezaki Ryūichi is a highly celebrated artist whose work is eagerly collected by connoisseurs both in Japan and abroad. Born in Nagasaki on the island of Kyushu, he now lives and works in Imbe, the ancient home of Bizen ware. He has the advantage of being viewed as an outsider, which allows him to experiment in ways that most of the other hundreds of potters working there cannot. His fresh and independent vision, however, has inspired others. In 2014, he won the Japan Ceramic Society Gold Prize for lifetime achievement.
Large Oribe-glazed four-footed faceted vessel with notched rim and incised patterning of archaic glyphs
10 3/8 x 17 5/ 8 in.
First employed in a design company, Takauchi Shūgō entered the ceramic world after visiting Mashiko and studying the vessels of Hamada Shōji. He promptly quit his job and set up his own kiln. Takauchi specializes in thickly walled stoneware vessels adorned with painted and ladle-poured glazes and produces contemporary versions of Oribe, Shino, and ash-glazed functional vessels. Often large in scale, his works are effectively sculpture. Takauchi is one of the rare artists who can work freely in a wide range of regional and historical styles. His work has been featured in exhibitions around the world over several decades.
Vessel covered in platinum and gold dotted butterfly motif with auspicious numerical designs, titled "Four Seasons of Peace"
15 3/8 x 7 x 7 in.
The son of Morino Hiroaki Taimei, Morino Akito is currently a ceramics professor at Kyoto City University of Arts. He has found his own style and distinctive manner of expression through clay. He has been exhibiting continuously since he was a young artist and frequently presents his works internationally.
The title of this work is a play on homophones and auspicious meanings. The butterfly, written 蝴蝶, has special significance here as a motif. In Chinese, the pronunciation of the first character 蝴 sounds like 福 fú, meaning happiness or luck, and the second character 蝶 has the same pronunciation as 耋dié, meaning an 80-year-old man. Together they indicate blessings for a long and prosperous life. The numbers covering the vessel are "4182." Their Chinese pronunciation is similar to that of 四季平安, "Four Seasons of Peace", which is the artist's title of the work.
Large bowl with brushed on blue, black, and cream glazes in abstract calligraphic designs
7 1/2 x 10 in.
Shigemori Yōko (1953-2021) was an artist who created work boldly and freely, without preconception. As a result, there is an immediacy and honesty to her vigorous forms and surfaces. Such spontaneity, however, could only be successfully executed after years of disciplined training, as Shigemori did so under several masters – most notably, Yagi Kazuo, as one of his last students. Her background as a painter is evident from her scratched graffiti-like designs paired with matte glazes to her bold calligraphic surface decorations. While rooted in the aesthetics of Japanese ceramic tradition, Shigemori's works are thoroughly modern in design and sculptural in form.
Porcelain and gold overglaze
6 5/8 x 9 1/4 x 8 7/8 in.
Osaka-born Tomita Mikiko (b. 1972) spent her childhood in Portugal, where she was drawn to the surrounding art and architecture's elaborate ornamentation. She was further influenced by studying Islamic mosques, stupas, and Burmese pagodas. Her incredibly intricate iro-e porcelain sculptural works featuring concentric colored bands and gold dots utilize a technique inspired by mori-e, a painting technique traditional to Mie prefecture. Her works evoke biomorphic forms, or the sublime process of cell division. Tomita's work was featured in the landmark 2009 exhibition Touch Fire: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics by Women Artists at Smith College Museum of Art.