The New York Times

Antiques - Pairings in Clay

December 2, 2011

Western and Japanese potters have influenced one another at least since the 1940s. Artisans on various continents have painted Pop Art checkerboards on traditional tea-bowl forms and used ancient raku firing techniques on jokily unusable perforated vases. “Conversations in Clay — West Meets East: A Collector’s Perspective,” an exhibition through Jan. 6 at the Joan B. Mirviss gallery in Manhattan, pairs about 30 Japanese pieces from the gallery’s inventory with American and European counterparts (with prices mostly a few thousand dollars each).

The Western contingent belongs to the New York collector Steven Korff, who has a few thousand more vessels at home. He based the pairings on forms, glazes and underlying philosophies, from jagged rims by Adrian Saxe and Machiko Ogawa to traditional brown glazes formulated by the British potter Bernard Leach and his friend Kanjiro Kawai.

While “sold” stickers are posted here and there on the object labels, “So far no one has bought a pair,” Ms. Mirviss said during a recent gallery tour. “No one has crossed that bridge yet.”

By Eve Kahn
December 2, 2011


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