Tension and Transition

The Clay Language of Akiyama Yô

April 14 – May 20, 2011

Metavoid 19, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
28 x 22 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches
Inv# 6895
SOLD

Metavoid 19, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
28 x 22 1/2 x 29 1/8 inches
Inv# 6895
SOLD

Untitled MV-113, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
9 x 17 x 12 1/4 inches
Inv# 6899
SOLD

Untitled MV-113, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
9 x 17 x 12 1/4 inches
Inv# 6899
SOLD

Untitled MV-112, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
14 1/4 x 14 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6898
SOLD

Untitled MV-112, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
14 1/4 x 14 5/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6898
SOLD

Untitled MV-111, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
17 x 17 x 12 1/4 inches
Inv# 6897
SOLD

Untitled MV-111, 2011
Stoneware with iron-filings
17 x 17 x 12 1/4 inches
Inv# 6897
SOLD

Untitled MV-1016, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
16 1/4 x 20 1/8 x 13 1/2 inches
Inv# 6881
SOLD

Untitled MV-1016, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
16 1/4 x 20 1/8 x 13 1/2 inches
Inv# 6881
SOLD

Untitled MV-1018, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
11 1/2 x 19 3/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6883
SOLD

Untitled MV-1018, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
11 1/2 x 19 3/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6883
SOLD

Untitled MV-1018, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
11 1/2 x 19 3/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6883
SOLD

Untitled MV-1014, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
15 x 21 3/8 x 16 5/8 inches
Inv# 6879
SOLD

Untitled MV-1014, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
15 x 21 3/8 x 16 5/8 inches
Inv# 6879
SOLD

Untitled MV-1014, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
15 x 21 3/8 x 16 5/8 inches
Inv# 6879
SOLD

Untitled MV-1015, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
16 1/7 x 27 1/4 x 19 3/4 inches
Inv# 6880
SOLD

Untitled MV-1015, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
16 1/7 x 27 1/4 x 19 3/4 inches
Inv# 6880
SOLD

Untitled MV-1017, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
12 1/4 x 14 1/4 x 14 7/8 inches
Inv# 6882
SOLD

Untitled MV-1017, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
12 1/4 x 14 1/4 x 14 7/8 inches
Inv# 6882
SOLD

Untitled MV-1019, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
8 x 12 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches
Inv# 6884
SOLD

Untitled MV-103, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
14 1/4 x 15 3/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6896
SOLD

Untitled MV-103, 2010
Stoneware with iron-filings
14 1/4 x 15 3/8 x 14 5/8 inches
Inv# 6896
SOLD

Press Release

Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd. is pleased to present their major solo show of internationally acclaimed artist AKIYAMA YŌ (b. 1953). Living, working and teaching in Kyoto, Japan, this exhibition will be his second in the US and with Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd. Titled Tension and Transition, more than ten powerful and evocative sculptural clay works created specifically for this presentation that will be shown first at SOFA/NY (April 14 - 17) and thereafter at Joan B. Mirviss, Ltd. (April 18 - May 20).

Though using a basic stoneware clay, Akiyama's aesthetic pushes past any traditional concepts for ceramics; his art has much more in common with the work of contemporary sculptors like Richard Serra than the utilitarian ceramics for which Kyoto is historically known. Inspired by his teacher Yagi Kazuo (1919–1979), co-founder of the Sōdeisha ceramic movement and best known for pioneering the avant-garde aesthetic in Post-War Japan, Akiyama's major concerns revolve around the physical properties of clay as a material and his exploration, through the manipulation of his medium, of the tension between surface and form, between the ordered and the organic. This direct relationship with his materials and commitment to experimentation and reinvention has made Akiyama one of Japan's most important contemporary artists.

The third generation of a family of artists, Akiyama's personally developed, unique visual language is clearly present in this latest oeuvre. The deep fissures in his surfaces – which are created by treating wheel-thrown forms with an open flame before turning them inside out – juxtaposed against the clean, modern lines of the sculptural form creates a visual tension inviting both close inspection and quiet contemplation. These sculptures, with surfaces sometimes mimicking naturally occurring forms like volcanic rock or a dried river-bed, beckon the viewer in for careful observation. It is easy to be seduced by the rich browns and blacks which Akiyama attains in his patina using a surface treatment involving vinegar and iron-filings. The viewer is left to marvel at the seamless blending of his highly creative techniques together with his powerful visual vocabulary.

Last year, Akiyama received the 17th MOA Okada Mokichi Award, which Rupert Faulkner of the V&A deems one of the most prestigious Grand Prizes on the Japanese art calendar. This honor was made even more remarkable as 2010 was the first year artists working outside classical crafts were openly considered for this distinction. His works grace many important collections and museums in Japan and in the West, including: Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu; National Museum of Art, Osaka; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; Faenza International Ceramic Museum, Italy; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

EXHIBITION
APRIL 14 - 17 at
SOFA (14TH INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OF SCULPTURE OBJECTS & FUNCTIONAL ART)
PARK AVENUE ARMORY (AT 66TH STREET)
NEW YORK, NY

THURSDAY & SATURDAY 11 AM - 7 PM
FRIDAY 11 AM – 6 PM
SUNDAY 12 PM – 6 PM

APRIL 18 - MAY 20 at
JOAN B. MIRVISS LTD.
39 EAST 78TH STREET 4FL
NEW YORK, NY 10075

MONDAY-FRIDAY 11AM - 5PM