Japanese Ceramics 1960 - Present: Function vs. Sculpture

Winter Antiques Show 2018

Park Avenue Armory

January 22 – 31, 2018

Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901-1980) Diamond-shaped water jar decorated with autumn flowers 1960's Glazed stoneware 6 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. 16.5 x 31.5 x 22 cm. Inv# 10379

Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901-1980)

Diamond-shaped water jar decorated with autumn flowers


Glazed stoneware

6 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.

16.5 x 31.5 x 22 cm.

Inv# 10379


Isezaki Jun (b. 1936)

Large rectangular bizen vessel with extended, pinched upper edges


Unglazed Bizen Stoneware

17 x 8 x 3 1/2 in.

Inv# 10071


Suzuki Hiroshige II (1826-1869)
Kintai Bridge (The Brocade Sash Bridge) At Iwakuni, Suo Province, 1859

Inv. 8078

Kawase Shinobu (b. 1950)  Gently lobed celadon waterjar with red lacquer cover.  2002  Porcelainous stoneware with celadon glaze  6 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.  21.2 x 13.9 cm.  Inv# 10362

Kawase Shinobu (b. 1950)

Gently lobed celadon waterjar with red lacquer cover


Porcelainous stoneware with celadon glaze

6 1/4 x 7 5/8 in.

21.2 x 13.9 cm



Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942)

Subject: Quarter moon rising on a cloudy night

Title: Kagetsu no zu; View of the Summer Moon

Signed: Seiho 

Sealed: Seiho; Kokan no in  

Date: 1902 

Dimensions: 48 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (exclusive of mount)

Media: Ink and light color on silk

Format: Hanging scroll

Box: Mizunoe tora natsubi Seiho dai u Kogyosho (Inscribed at Kogyosho on summer’s day on the year of the Tiger [1902])

Sealed: Seiho

Inv# 9741


Onisenbeizu (Demon with rice cookie)
Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper
50 3/8 x 21 5/8 inches (exclusive of mount)
Inv# 8625

Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Title: Minowa, Kanasugi, Mikawashima

Series: Edo meisho hyakkei; 100 Famous Views of Edo

Date: 1857, 5th Month

Signed: Hiroshige ga 

Publisher: Uoya Heikichi (very early first printing)

Format: Oban tate-e  

Inv# 9231


Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825)
Two Courtesans with a young boy, carrying bamboo branch holding auspicious items, ca. 1795
Signed: Toyokuni ga
Aiban tate-e
Inv# 8945

Tokusawa Mitsunori (b. 1976)

Diagonally carved sue-karatsu vase


Unglazed stoneware

11 1/8 x 6 1/4 x 5 5/8 in.

Inv# 10034


Kakurezaki Ryūichi (b. 1950)

Long, layered brown sculpture with slit opening at top


Stoneware with natural ash glaze

9 3/4 x 34  x 7 1/2 in.



Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950)

Akoda: Pumpkin


Stoneware with matte glazes

14 3/8 x 16 1/2 x 17 3/8 in.


Winter Antiques Show 2018 Press Release

For our 37th year participating at the prestigious 64th Winter Antiques S h o w we shall be featuring a carefully selected group of significant Japanese ceramics work, both modern and contemporary that best exemplify the Japanese dual focus on function vs sculpture. Combining Japan’s profound ceramic history with refined aesthetic design, the artists in this exhibition are visionaries who successfully transformed time-honored artistic traditions into widely acclaimed and collected art. Examining the often-fine line between these two general categories of ceramic production, this exhibition will offer a diversity of material by post-war artists through the present day. Many of the works, while nominally utilitarian, stand as highly original sculptural vessels today.

For millennia, ceramics have played an important role in the artistic and daily life of Japan, not merely as functional vessels but also as symbols of status and wealth. Post-war Japanese ceramics may be divided into two broad categories: functional vessels and non-functional sculptural objects. It is particularly in case of the latter category, and those functional works that are only nominally so, that the West, especially through American enthusiasts, has made an indelible mark on the development of contemporary Japanese ceramics through its patronage and promotion.

Two internationally recognized artists Hamada Shoji (1894-1978) [Living National Treasure or LNT] and Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966), together in 1925 with Yanagi Soetsu, started the folk art movement (mingei). They stressed the importance of ceramics for everyday use rather than as items of luxury, emphasizing simplified utilitarian form, and leaving Chinese prototypes and glazes behind. Works by others in the grouping of functional work will include commanding vessels by Isezaki Jun (b. 1939) [LNT], Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883-1959), Kumakura Junkichi (1920-1985), Kuriki Tatsusuke (1943-2013), Mori Togaku (b.1937), Shimizu Uichi (1926-2004) [LNT], Takegoshi Jun (b. 1948), Takiguchi Kazuo (b. 1953), and Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009) [LNT] among many others.

Following on the heels of WWII, with scant resources available, several artists joined together to establish their own exhibition system that gave them both freedom and a vehicle for artistic dialogue. They drew their name, Sôdeisha, literally, “Crawling Through Mud Association,” derived from a Chinese ceramic glazing term, to express their complete absorption with their medium and its inherent limitations. Breaking free from traditional ceramics, these artists looked to poetry, music, surrealism, cubism, ancient art forms, and Western art and literature for points of departure. Unlike sculptors or painters, they viewed their medium, clay, as the founding element in the creation of a work of art that also demanded finely honed techniques and processes, while enabling them to explore a wide range of themes and forms. We will be exhibiting several works by two founders Yamada Hikaru (1923-2001) and Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979). From the current roster of master sculptors using clay as their medium, work will be presented by Fujino Sachiko (b.1950), Futamura Yoshimi (b. 1959), Kakurezaki Ryuichi (b. 1950), Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950), Ogawa Machiko (b. 1946) and Yamamoto Izuru (b. 1944), together several others.


To complement this ceramic exhibition, we have assembled a large group of hanging scroll paintings and ukiyo-e prints by renowned artists who are universally considered the masters of their respective media. These include fine woodblock prints by masters of landscape such as Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) and courtesans and women by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) and painters inspired by Western watercolors and integrated those aesthetics with indigenous techniques such as nihonga like Takeuchi Seiho (1864-1942) and Yamamoto Shunkyo (1971-1933).

Joan B Mirviss is a leading dealer in the field of Japanese art and 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 nearly forty years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations. For more information or to request high-resolution images, please call 212-799-4021 or email info@mirviss.com.

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