Kaneta Masanao

New Works

September 17 – October 25, 2008

Monumental rock-like sculpture
2006
Stoneware
17 5/8 x 18 x 12 3/8 inches
Inv# 5755

Bowed, footed slab platter covered with Hagi glaze in pink, gray and brown colorations
2006
Glazed stoneware
5 3/4 x 25 3/8 x 6 1/8 inches
Inv# 5779

Large rounded rock-like sculpture with slip glaze in tones of brown, gray and rust
2008
Stoneware with slip glaze
19 7/8 x 21 3/4 x 11 3/8 inches
Inv# 5760

Mountain vessel covered with Hagi glaze with pink and gray colorations
2008
Glazed stoneware
11 3/4 x 8 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches
Inv# 5776

Tea bowl with Hagi glaze with pink colorations and glaze crawling
2008
Glazed stoneware
4 x 4 7/8 x 4 7/8 inches
Inv# 5787

Scooped-out vessel with upturned corners covered in unctuous white Hagi glaze with pink colorations
2008
Glazed stoneware
11 x 21 1/2 x 10 inches
Inv# 5769

Press Release

NEW YORK – With the first anniversary of the opening of its Madison Avenue gallery approaching, Joan B Mirviss LTD will open the 2008 – 2009 season September 17 with an exhibition of new works by the renowned Japanese clay artist Kaneta Masanao.

NEW YORK – With the first anniversary of the opening of its Madison Avenue gallery approaching, Joan B Mirviss LTD will open the 2008 – 2009 season September 17 with an exhibition of new works by the renowned Japanese clay artist Kaneta Masanao.

Kaneta (b. 1953), an eighth-generation Hagi potter, navigates the borderlands between the traditional potter's craft and the practice of a contemporary artist in the creation of his groundbreaking work. Following training in sculpture at Tokyo University of Education (now Tsukuba University), Kaneta began to develop the formal dynamism that sets his work apart from that of other artists of the ancient ceramic center from which he hails. The push and pull between his innovative techniques and traditional glazes, as well as that between his functional vessels and purely sculptural forms, is readily apparent in the selection of nearly 40 new works that will be on view this autumn in the artist's second solo exhibition in New York.

Kaneta creates veritable landscapes with his unique, mountain-inspired forms, moving beyond tradition in his signature kurinuki technique of digging or scooping his sculptural vessels out of solid mounds of clay. Early in his career, Kaneta struggled to work within the constraints imposed by the traditional image of the potter working at the wheel. He eventually arrived at his innovative method only after years of frustration with the inherent conflict between the centrifugal force of the potter's wheel and his own formative intent. The artist has described that liberating himself from the wheel allowed him to finally focus on "the natural spirit of a mound of clay" in concert with his own "sculptural formative consciousness."



Kaneta's choice to utilize the unctuous, creamy white-pink glazes that have been the hallmark of traditional Hagi ware for centuries creates a balanced tension in his work. It is this ancient, classical glaze that defines and accentuates the craggy, mountainous features of the stoneware sculptures. The resulting works, which can resemble the topography of the earth from which they are made, are highly evocative of the landscape in the artist's native home in Hagi.

Kaneta currently serves as professor of ceramics at Tsukuba University, outside of Tokyo. He has been lauded both as a ceramist and a contemporary artist, being awarded several important prizes and numerous solo exhibitions throughout Japan. His work is recognized throughout the world and can be seen in the collections of such prestigious institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; and National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Kaneta Masanao / New Works will be on view through October 22, 2008.


EXHIBITION
September 17 – October 25, 2008
Tuesday – Friday 2 – 5 pm
Saturday 1 – 4 pm
and by appointment


About JOAN B MIRVISS LTD
Joan B. Mirviss has been a renowned expert in Japanese art, specializing in prints, paintings, screens and contemporary ceramics for more than thirty years. She 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 many of the top Japanese clay artists. As a distinguished, widely published, and highly respected specialist in her field, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.