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Thomsen Gallery

Summer Works of Art

We are pleased to offer our current collection of Japanese screens and scrolls, early Japanese tea ceramics from medieval through Edo periods, masterpieces of ikebana bamboo baskets, and fine gold lacquer objects on our website. We also specialize in post-war ink art and Gutai art as well as contemporary art by select artists. We look forward to welcoming you to our gallery soon.



Design Miami/Basel

June 10 – 16, 2024
Hall 1 Süd, Messe Basel, Switzerland
Booth G07

We are delighted to announce our participation in the 18th edition of Design Miami/Basel, presenting Japanese modern and contemporary art. The exhibition will focus on Japanese bamboo baskets by the great masters of the 20th century.

The baskets will be complemented by Japanese gold lacquer boxes, medieval and contemporary ceramics, and Japanese folding screens.

As the global authority for collectible design, Design Miami brings together the design world’s most influential players through their acclaimed fairs and online marketplace. Their international collectible design fairs feature selling-exhibitions of historic and contemporary furniture, lighting, and works of art.

If you’re in Switzerland during Art Basel week, be sure to stop by Booth G07 to view our splendid collection of Japanese art!

Mon, Jun 10: By invitation only
Tue, Jun 11 & Wed, Jun 12: 10am-7pm
Thur, Jun 13 – Sat, June 15: 11am-7pm
Sun, Jun 16: 11am-6pm

To learn more about the fair, click here.



Japanese Ceramics: Medieval to Contemporary

April 24 – May 18, 2024

We are delighted to present our spring exhibition, Japanese Ceramics: Medieval to Contemporary. This special show—devoted to a key component of the Japanese aesthetic tradition that is as dynamic today as it was 10,000 years ago—starts with a small group of stoneware vessels dating from the sixth to the seventeenth century, all of them fired for several days at very high temperatures without deliberate glazing. Their dynamic surface finish derives from accumulations of wood ash circulating in the kiln’s atmosphere; as the ash settled, its silica content melted and fused to create patches and streaks of color that complement the vessels’ robust forms and rugged surfaces.

Originally made for utilitarian purposes, over time these early ceramics came to be appreciated for their aesthetic qualities, especially by the pioneers of chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Thanks to their leadership, many of Japan’s medieval kiln centers are still active today and the country’s ancient ceramics remain an important source of inspiration. Our selection of postwar ceramics includes wares from two of them: Hagi and Bizen. Yamato Yasuo’s Hagi-ware flask is a contemporary reinterpretation of traditional stoneware with a strong sculptural profile, while Tsujimura Shirō’s tea bowl—the most important of the chanoyu utensils—is more faithful to earlier Bizen-ware models, with a classically formed red-brown body crafted from unrefined clay and marked by dramatic inclusions of feldspar.

Ceramic artists in the Mingei tradition (founded in the 1920s) played a key role in shaping the American taste for contemporary Japanese ceramics during the early postwar period. We are proud to present a work by the most famous of them, Hamada Shōji, a jaunty vase with his favorite cross motifs executed in poured glaze. In complete contrast to Hamada’s easy-going abstract style, a formal flower container by Shinkai Kanzan exemplifies the refinement of ceramics made in Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital, with its high-relief, meticulous naturalistic molding of a sponge gourd and its dried interior.

Contemporary Japanese porcelain forms an important component of our spring show. We present mature masterpieces by two Living National Treasures, Nakajima Hiroshi and Tokuda Yasokichi III. Nakajima was admired for his beautiful celadon glazes while Tokuda was celebrated for his skillful repurposing of his family’s traditional style, abandoning pictorial motifs but using the same glaze colors to create gradated abstract patterning applied to perfectly wheel-thrown, glowing vessels. Takegoshi Jun, like Tokuda a scion of the Kutani tradition of porcelain decoration, paints lively, closely observed bird-and-flower designs on slab-built forms.

Finally, we are delighted to offer another group of outstanding works—including both vessels and pure sculptures—by Fukami Sueharu. Thomsen Gallery has maintained a close connection with Fukami for more than three decades and today he is more widely honored than ever, both in his own country and across the seas. His wheel-thrown or pressure-cast porcelain sculptures, finished in a luminous bluish-white glaze that originated in eleventh-century China, are admired in public collections around the world.

To learn more, click here.



Japanese Modern Masterpieces 1910-1950

March 14 – 22, 2024

We are pleased to present a collection of Japanese modern masterpieces from 1910 to 1950 in our gallery during Asia Week New York this year. The exhibition focuses on Japanese fine art from these decades, a time of great change for Japan and its arts. Superb works were created for the domestic market, in contrast to the export-oriented output during the prior Meiji era. Though most painters of the Taisho and early Showa eras typically remained focused on traditional themes, they often experimented with new materials and perspectives. They shifted from stylized depictions of nature to naturalistic botanical studies and many works show influence from the West.

To learn more, click here


Thomsen gallery, located in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, offers important Japanese paintings and works of art to collectors and museums worldwide. The gallery specializes in Japanese screens and scrolls; in early Japanese tea ceramics from the medieval through the Edo periods; in masterpieces of ikebana bamboo baskets; and in gold lacquer objects. It further specializes in post-war ink art and Gutai art as well as contemporary art by select artists, such as the internationally renowned Japanese ceramic artist Sueharu Fukami, the paper artist Kyoko Ibe, and the lacquer artist Yoshio Okada.

The gallery is owned by Erik and Cornelia Thomsen, who live and work in New York. Erik has been a dealer in Japanese art since 1981; born to Danish parents and raised in Japan, he is fluent in Japanese and was the first foreigner to apprentice to an art dealer in Japan. They have three children, Julia, Anna, and Georg.