Apollo: The International Art Magazine

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kekichi and his Enduring Legacy

Joan B. Mirviss, a dealer specialising in Japanese art and ceramics, has organized a retrospective (with a lavish bilingual catalogue) of the work of the ceramicist Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963), who travelled to England and befriended Bernard Leach. Tomimoto encouraged his countrymen to study Western art and pursue invention in clay rather than repetition of traditional patterns. 'Vessel Explored/Vessel Transformed: Tomimoto Kenkichi and His Enduring Legacy' will explore Tomimoto's inspirations including Aristide Maillol's fleshy bronze women and William Morris's fern repeats, as well as contemporary Japanese artisans influenced by Tomimoto. Mirviss says that few American collectors and institutions are aware of his work. She needs to tell his story, she explains, at a high-profile time like Asia Week.