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Joan B Mirviss LTD

Layered Clay

May 1 – June 21, 2024

“Vibrantly colored layered clays are used to such an extent…that the conventional, narrow view of neriage has been shattered” said Hasebe Mitsuhiko former curator of the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1990 when speaking of the layered clay works of modern-day Japanese ceramic artists. Their use of the painstaking technique of cutting, forming, and shaping layers of colored clay to form their visually mesmerizing ceramics has often been likened to creating three-dimensional mind games. This ancient technique, known as neriage or nerikomi originated in 8th century China, spread to Korea in the 12th century then to England in the 18th century before coming to its pinnacle in modern-day Japan.

This spring, we celebrate the extraordinary achievements of three past masters who revitalized this ancient technique and creatively expanded the seemingly simple idea of building clay upon clay: Matsui Kōsei, Miyashita Zenji, and Ogata Kamio. Their artistry was impossible to achieve without their equally astonishing technical skills. Developed steadily over time, with patience and experimentation, their deft manipulation of clay enabled them each in their own ways to achieve dazzling color contrasts, unexpected surface effects, and gradations of textures and colors that complemented their vessels’ forms. Many of their artworks have been acquired directly from the estates of the artists, with the blessings of their families, and are obviously fresh to the market.

In addition, work by seven other Japanese ceramic artists who were contemporaries of, or successors to, their innovative legacies will be displayed in Layered Clay: Harada Shūroku, Living National Treasure Itō Sekisui V, Kawase Shinobu, Kakurezaki Ryūichi, Saeki Moriyoshi, Takiguchi Kazuo, and Wakao Kei.

To learn more, click here.



Art of the People: Exploring the Mingei Film Archive

Recorded on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 5pm EDT

Perhaps one of the best-known aspects of Japanese ceramics in the West remains the Mingei folk art movement and its leading proponents, Hamada Shōji and Bernard Leach. Because of their advocacy and publicly facing roles, aided greatly by the medium of film, the timeless qualities of Mingei have figured prominently in the perception of Japanese art in the West throughout the twentieth century. For this unique ZOOM Gallery Talk, filmmaker Marty Gross shares with us his extraordinary mission to restore, record, preserve, and archive the films of and about Mingei from the early twentieth century in his project, The Mingei Film Archive. He will share with us rare footage of prewar Japan and of pottery production in centers such as Tamba and Mashiko. As a potter himself, Marty Gross shares with us how the Mingei Film Archive developed and how his personal journey merged his two great artistic interests to create this remarkable and irreplaceable resource for ceramics and for Japanese art lovers.

Marty Gross, filmmaker and founder of The Mingei Film Archive, based in Toronto, Canada
Moderated by Joan Mirviss

To view the recording of this talk, please click here.



Eternal Partnership: Japanese Ceramics in Blue & White

March 14 – April 19, 2024

The most visually striking color combination for centuries, blue and white has been paired effectively in all types of Japanese art, but most prominently and successfully in its ceramics. For Asia Week New York 2024, we present the enduring legacy of this timeless aesthetic, and its dynamic expressions in Japanese contemporary clay, through the lens of the esteemed Kyoto-based Kondō family. Across multiple generations, their mastery of sometsuke (cobalt blue-and-white porcelain) culminates in the work of our celebrated gallery artist, Kondō Takahiro, who broke free of his forefathers’ traditions with his patented gintekisai “silver mist” overglaze on dramatic sculptural work.

Eternal Partnership: Japanese Ceramics in Blue & White includes masterful work by twenty additional Japanese ceramic artists applying blue and/or white across a wide range of innovative forms and styles.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Porcelains in the Mist: The Kondō Family of Ceramicists at the Brooklyn Museum. The artist Kondō Takahiro will be present for in-person events hosted by Joan B Mirviss LTD during Asia Week New York.

To learn more and view our online catalog, click here.