NearSay: New York

Guided by the Brush at Joan B Mirviss LTD

"Joan Mirviss and Alison Tolman are pleased to announce their collaboration on two important exhibitions being held simultaneously at Joan B Mirviss LTD. Guided by the Brush and The French Connection: Five Japanese Women Ceramists and their Passion for France shine a spotlight on pioneering Japanese women in two distinct artistic media: ink painting and clay. Together these two exhibitions offer insights into the power and range of achievement by these accomplished women, artists who stand on the world stage and whose works can be found in major museum collections across the globe.

"In Guided by the Brush, the Tolman Collection has assembled an important body of paintings and prints by Shinoda Toko, one of Japan's foremost Abstract Expressionist artists, who is approaching her centennial birthday.

"Shinoda held her first exhibition at the prestigious Betty Parsens Gallery in the early 1960s. Though her training was in the most classical style of calligraphy, the strict rules of this tradition did not permit Shinoda to effectively convey emotional content or movement and early on she found fulfillment and liberation by creating her own visual imagery.

"As her primary dealer and art publisher, the Tolman Collection has actively represented Shinoda from 1975 to the present.

"In The French Connection: Five Japanese Women Ceramists and their Passion for France, the five clay sculptors are Futamura Yoshimi, Katsumata Chieko, Nagasawa Setsuko, Ogawa Machiko, and Sakurai Yasuko, whose ages span three decades. Masters of their medium, they confront tradition while exposing the very nature of clay, exploiting its flexibility and suppleness in arresting ways - using clay in ways that flaunt the limitations of the medium or defy them altogether. As a result, they are at the vanguard of the development of Japanese cermaics in what is certaintly one of the richest and most diverse periods in its long history.

"The five women participating in this show received classical Japanese training in clay but developed their craft through studies in France. Each artist sought to make France a major central component in her artistic evolution and life, which in turn has ultimately led to international recognition.

"Guided by the Brush and The French Connection run from June 7 to August 3."