Liquid Porcelain

The Sculptural Art of Nagae Shigekazu

March 20 – April 20, 2010

Joan B Mirviss LTD
Installation view

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #1,' 2009
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
9 1/2 x 14 x 14 inches
Inv# 6417

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #4' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
14 1/8 x 19 1/4 x 20 1/8 inches
Inv# 6495

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #5' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
15 1/8 x 20 1/8 x 17 7/8 inches
Inv# 6496

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #9' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
12 1/4 x 15 5/8 x 18 3/8 inches
Inv# 6500

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #10' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
16 x 19 1/2 x 15 inches
Inv# 6501

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #12' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
13 3/8 x 14 1/2 x 18 inches
Inv# 6503

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #13' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
10 1/4 x 14 3/4 x 17 inches
Inv# 6504

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #14' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
14 5/8 x 23 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches
Inv# 6505

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #17' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
6 1/2 x 21 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches
Inv# 6508

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #18' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
13 3/4 x 14 3/8 x 16 3/4 inches
Inv# 6509

Ceramic sculpture titled 'Forms in Succession #21' 2010
Porcelain with white glaze and spotted patterning
7 x 8 3/4 x 11 inches
Inv# 6512

Press Release

NEW YORK - As one of the world's leading sculptors working in porcelain, NAGAE Shigekazu (b. 1953) has literally recast the commercial concept of slip-casting into an art form. After decades of experimentation, Nagae has mastered his unique adaptation of this traditional method for mass-producing porcelain wares and creates elegant, sensuous white sculptures, transforming a plebian functional process into the realm of the avant-garde.

There is a remarkable balance between artistry and technical brilliance within Nagae's work; natural movement in the act of creation leads to seemingly whimsical shapes and curves, one form mirroring the other. Starting with two slightly different ikomi molds created according to the traditions of his native Seto, Nagae casts them with liquid porcelain. Following the drying and bisque-firing procedures, the two eggshell-thin forms are suspended inside one another within the kiln. The intense heat of the final firing causes them to fuse where glazed, and to further distend, bend, and drape around each other in the process. Here nature and extensive experience go hand in hand.

Nagae has won many prestigious awards, such as the Grand Prix at the Chunichi International as early as 1979 and again in '86, and more recently, the Grand Prix at the 1998 Triennal de la Porcelain in Nyon, the Mino Ceramic Festival that same year, as well as the Grand Prix at the 1997 Nihon togei-ten Japan Ceramics Exhibition. His work graces the collections of museums world-wide, perhaps most noteably at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Musée nationale de cèramiques, Sèvres; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Musée Asiana, Geneva; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; among many others.