Mountains and Seas

The Evocative Ceramics of Miyashita Zenji

April 21 – May 15, 2009

Transcendent Morning
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
22 x 13 3/4 x 8"
Inv# 5995

Transcendent Morning
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
22 x 13 3/4 x 8"
Inv# 5995

Morning Breeze
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
10 5/8 x 12 1/4 x 4"
Inv# 5998

Rising Sea
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
12 x 12 7/8 x 4 1/8"
Inv# 6001

Midnight Rainbow I
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
10 1/2 x 12 5/8 x 3 3/4"
Inv# 6002

Billow II
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
6 1/4 x 8 1/8 7 1/2"
Inv# 6004

Gust of Wind
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
12 1/2 10 3/4 5 3/4"
Inv# 6005

Gust of Wind
2008
Stoneware with colored-clay overlays
12 1/2 10 3/4 5 3/4"
Inv# 6005

SOFA 2009
Opening night, (left to right)
Joan Mirviss, Miyashita Zenji, Roald Hoffman and Miyashita Hideko

SOFA 2009
Miyashita Zenji during his lecture.

SOFA 2009
Installation view

SOFA 2009
Installation view

Press Release

Mountains and Seas: The Evocative Ceramics of Miyashita Zenji

"In each work, my intention is to create a delightful musical performance––a harmony of color blending with a restrained sense of the clay ––becoming a canvas for evocative tranquil landscapes."

Suggestive of rolling waves, swirling currents, distant hills, drifting clouds, colorful
sunsets and multihued sunrises, the surface patterning on the remarkable vessels
created by Miyashita Zenji (b. 1939) are made from applications of extremely thin
layers of colored clay (saidei). Only 2 or 3 millimeters in thickness and applied in
irregular bands covering the surface from top to bottom of each uniquely shaped vessel,
they range in gradient tones from deep purple to faint pink or from dark blue to the
palest green and yellow. In other sculptural work, insertions of black-on-black linear
patterns are juxtaposed against narrow rainbow-like bands that border their profiles.
The largely slab-built forms vary from undulating geometric shapes to soft, breathing
biomorphic sculptures. Nearly always asymmetrical, these uniquely shaped works
perfectly marry sculptural form with colorful surface detail, becoming three-dimensional
landscape scenes. Full of movement, each piece is accorded a poetic title, offering a
key into the artist's source of inspiration.

Miyashita was born in Kyoto to the eldest son of the distinguished porcelain
artist, Miyashita Zenju (1901-1968). He was trained academically by the ceram
who exhibit in annual competitions at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum. After his first
exhibition there in 1964, Miyashita quickly established himself as a major talent and won
numerous prizes. By 1993, he had already won this event 18 times. More recently, in
2005, Miyashita was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award and Cultural Award by
both the city and Prefecture of Kyoto. His work has been shown in exhibitions worldwide
and been acquired by major museums throughout Japan, the United States and Europe
including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo,
Royal Ontario Museum, British Museum and Musée des Arts Décoratif, Paris.

EXHIBITION SPECIFICS:


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 her New York gallery, Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd., exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a distinguished, widely published, and respected specialist in her field, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums and major private collectors.