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

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed:
Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
March 13 - April 26, 2019

 

Our groundbreaking exhibition and its accompanying publication, Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed: Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy, the first of its type outside Japan, opens during Asia Week New York at Joan B Mirviss LTD. Presented in conjunction with Japan’s leading modern ceramic dealer, Shibuya Kurodatoen Co., LTD, the exhibition focuses on the remarkable artist and teacher, TOMIMOTO KENKICHI (1886-1963). While a relative unknown in the west, Tomimoto is revered as the father of this field. He was the most significant figure in the world of twentieth-century Japanese ceramics, and his impact continues through his gifted and inspired former pupils and their talented students, many of whom are now professors of ceramics. Together they have transformed and surpassed the classical standards for functional ceramic excellence—devotion to the ancient Chinese traditions in tandem with an allegiance to the late 16th-century Momoyama tea wares–– and brought to their oeuvres a new, contemporary, and highly influential sensibility. Without Tomimoto and his legacy of pupils, Japan would not be in the preeminent position as champion of contemporary clay that it is today.

Selected Works

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963), Large rounded white vessel

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963)

Large rounded white vessel

1936

Glazed porcelain

8 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches

Inv# 10905

SOLD

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963), Sake flask with fern pattern

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963)

Sake flask with fern pattern

after 1952

Glazed porcelain with gold and silver glazes over red overglaze

6 x 3 7/8 x 3 1/2 inches

Inv# 10772

 

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963), Iro-e square covered box

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963)

Iro-e square covered box

1941

Glazed porcelain

2 5/8 x 7 1/8 x 7 1/4 inches

Inv# 11035

SOLD

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963), Sake flask with 4-petal floral pattern

Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963)

Sake flask with 4-petal floral pattern

1944

Polychrome overglaze enameled porcelain

7 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches

Inv# 10771

 

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Kawai Kanjirō (1890-1966), Flask-vase with floral relief decoration

Kawai Kanjirō (1890-1966)

Flask-vase with floral relief decoration

ca. 1953

Polychrome-glazed stoneware

6 x 7 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches

Inv# 10725

SOLD

Hamada Shōji (1894-1978), Vessel with resist patterning

Hamada Shōji (1894-1978)

Vessel with resist patterning

ca. 1976

Persimmon-glazed stoneware

10 x 8 1/2 x 8 inches

Inv# 10726

SOLD

Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979), Tubular sculpture with stamped floral pattern

Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979)

Tubular sculpture with stamped floral pattern

ca. 1957

Slip-glazed stoneware

Inv# 10717

9 1/2 x 4 x 3 3/4 inches

SOLD

Kitaōji Rosanjin (1886-1963), Sake flask with curvilinear and polka-dot pattern

Kitaōji Rosanjin (1886-1963)

Sake flask with curvilinear and polka-dot pattern

ca. 1940

Polychrome overglaze enameled porcelain

4 1/2 x 2 7/8 inches

Inv# 10696

SOLD

Fujimoto Yoshimichi (Nōdō) (1919-1992), Vase with geometric patterning

Fujimoto Yoshimichi (Nōdō) (1919-1992)

Vase with geometric patterning

ca. 1972

Overglaze enameled stoneware

8 7/8 x 9 3/8 x 10 inches

Inv# 10719

SOLD

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985), Round white vessel

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985)

Round white vessel

1938

Glazed porcelain

7 1/4 x 8 3/4 inches

SOLD

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985), Vase with plum-blossom pattern

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985)

Vase with plum-blossom pattern

ca. 1976

Cobalt-blue glazed porcelain with gold overglaze

8 x 8 inches

Inv# 10840

SOLD

Kondō Yutaka (1932-1983), Textured vase with impressed patterning

Kondō Yutaka (1932-1983)

Textured vase with impressed patterning

ca. 1982

Glazed stoneware with white slip inlay

13 1/8 x 6 1/2 inches

Inv# 10374

SOLD

 

Yanagihara Mutsuo (b. 1934), Silver oribe sculpted vessel

Yanagihara Mutsuo (b. 1934)

Silver oribe sculpted vessel

1997-98

Glazed stoneware

19 7/8 x 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches

Inv# 10846

SOLD

Tamura Kōichi (1918-1987), Iron and copper-glazed, plum blossom patterned, large vessel

Tamura Kōichi (1918-1987)

Iron and copper-glazed, plum blossom patterned, large vessel

ca. 1983

Glazed stoneware

13 1/4 x 13 1/2 inches

Inv# 11016

SOLD

Kuriki Tatsusuke (1943-2013), Vessel with silver banding

Kuriki Tatsusuke (1943-2013)

Vessel with silver banding

ca. 1979

Glazed stoneware with silver overglaze

9 3/4 x 9 1/4 x 9 1/2 inches

Inv# 10758

SOLD

Kuriki Tatsusuke (1943-2013), Bluish green tubular vessel

Kuriki Tatsusuke (1943-2013)

Bluish green tubular vessel

ca. 1967

Glazed stoneware

11 1/2 x 14 x 14 inches

SOLD

Morino Hiroaki Taimei (b. 1934), Vessel with wave pattern

Morino Hiroaki Taimei (b. 1934)

Vessel with wave pattern

ca. 1990

Glazed stoneware

12 x 10 x 6 inches

Inv# 10730

SOLD

Kamoda Shōji (1933-1983), Columnar vessel with ribbon pattern

Kamoda Shōji (1933-1983)

Columnar vessel with ribbon pattern

1976

Glazed stoneware

10 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches

Inv# 10953

SOLD

Wada Morihiro (1944-2008), Black, red and ochre rectangular waisted standing vessel

Wada Morihiro (1944-2008)

Black, red and ochre rectangular waisted standing vessel

ca. 1995

Slip-glazed stoneware

11 3/4 x 8 x 7 3/4 inches

Inv# 10703

SOLD

Nagasawa Setsuko (b. 1941), Black and white two-part sculpture

Nagasawa Setsuko (b. 1941)

Black and white two-part sculpture

2018

Glazed porcelain and stoneware

17 x 7 7/8 x 11 inches

SOLD

Miyashita Zenji (1939-2012), Against the Winds

Miyashita Zenji (1939-2012)

Against the Winds

2010

Glazed stoneware with colored-clay bands

18 3/4 x 19 x 5 inches

Inv# 10872

SOLD

Tsuboi Asuka (b. 1932), Spring Autumn Philosopher's Lane

Tsuboi Asuka (b. 1932)

Spring Autumn Philosopher's Lane

2018

Glazed stoneware with gold overglaze

11 1/4 x 8 x 7 1/2 inches

Inv# 10891

SOLD 

Matsuda Yuriko (b. 1943), Iro-e teabowl, ca. 2016

Matsuda Yuriko (b. 1943)

Iro-e teabowl, ca. 2016

Glazed porcelain

3 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches

Inv# 10769

SOLD

Maeda Masahiro (b. 1948), Faceted water jar decorated with bird motif

Maeda Masahiro (b. 1948)

Faceted water jar decorated with bird motif

1982

Five-color enameled porcelain with silver overglaze

5 1/4 x 6 1/2 inches

SOLD

Hayashi Kaku (b. 1953), Cloudy Now; Fine Later

Hayashi Kaku (b. 1953)

Cloudy Now; Fine Later

2018

Glazed stoneware with gold and platinum overglazes

9 x 13 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches

Inv# 10884

SOLD

Kawasaki Tsuyoshi (b. 1942), Machi; Townscape

Kawasaki Tsuyoshi (b. 1942)

Machi; Townscape

2014

Glazed stoneware with a thin layer of porcelain clay

12 1/2 x 14 1/4 x 13 inches

Inv# 10889

SOLD

Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003), Marbleized vessel with tidal-grass patterning

Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003)

Marbleized vessel with tidal-grass patterning

ca. 1989

Marbleized stoneware

11 1/2 x 12 inches

Inv# 10845

SOLD

Kondō Takahiro (b. 1958), Monolith-Blue Mist

Kondō Takahiro (b. 1958)

Monolith-Blue Mist

2017

Glazed porcelain, cast glass and silver mist glaze

34 x 7 1/2 x 5 inches

Inv# 10748

SOLD

Kitamura Junko (b. 1956), Double-walled vessel

Kitamura Junko (b. 1956)

Double-walled vessel

2004

Stoneware ith black slip glaze, inlaid with white slip glaze

7 x 10 1/2 inches

Inv# 11103

SOLD

Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958), Chōtō; "Listening to the Waves"

Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958)

Chōtō; "Listening to the Waves"

2018

Stoneware with sand glaze

16 1/2 x 16 x 16 1/2 inches

Inv# 10883

SOLD

Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950), Akoda; Pumpkin

Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950)

Akoda; Pumpkin

2018

Stoneware with matte glazes

11 x 12 x 10 inches

Inv# 10754

SOLD

Tashima Etsuko (b. 1959), Cornucopia 00-VIII

Tashima Etsuko (b. 1959)

Cornucopia 00-VIII

2000

Stoneware and cast glass

16 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 7 inches

Inv# 10848

SOLD

Takeuchi Kōzō (b. 1977), Modern Remains: Intention

Takeuchi Kōzō (b. 1977)

Modern Remains: Intention

2018

Porcelain, lacquer on wood

31 1/4 x 21 1/2 x 16 inches

Inv# 10847

SOLD

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed - Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy
Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003), Blue and white neriage (marbleized) vessel

Matsui Kōsei (1927-2003)

Blue and white neriage (marbleized) vessel

ca. 1988

Marbleized stoneware

8 3/8 x 8 1/2 inches

Inv# 10977

SOLD

Kawai Kanjirō (1890-1966), Vessel with tri-color splashed decoration

Kawai Kanjirō (1890-1966)

Vessel with tri-color splashed decoration

ca. 1955

Glazed stoneware

7 1/2 x 9 x 5 3/4 inches

Inv# 10739

SOLD

Fujimoto Yoshimichi (Nōdō) (1919-1992), Inlaid modernist vessel

Fujimoto Yoshimichi (Nōdō) (1919-1992)

Inlaid modernist vessel

ca. 1965

Glazed stoneware

8 x 9 7/8 inches

Inv# 8139

SOLD

Saeki Moriyoshi (b. 1949), Inlaid, flattened vessel

Saeki Moriyoshi (b. 1949)

Inlaid, flattened vessel

2018

Glazed stoneware

9 x 19 x 4 3/4 inches

Inv# 10932

SOLD

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985), Blue-and-white vase with thistle design

Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985)

Blue-and-white vase with thistle design

ca. 1930

Glazed porcelain

8 1/2 x 6 5/8 x 6 3/4 inches

Inv# 10839

SOLD

Kamoda Shōji (1933-1983), Flattened vase with flared base

Kamoda Shōji (1933-1983)

Flattened vase with flared base

1969

Scraped-slip on stoneware

11 1/8  8 x 5 1/2 inches

Inv# 10768

SOLD

Kiyomizu Rokubey VII (1922-2006), Rounded vase with gold banding

Kiyomizu Rokubey VII (1922-2006)

Rounded vase with gold banding

ca. 1962

Irabo (wood ash)-glazed stoneware

7 7/8 x 9 5/8 x 7 inches

Inv# 10735

SOLD

Yanagihara Mutsuo (b. 1934), Yellow oribe sculpture

Yanagihara Mutsuo (b. 1934)

Yellow oribe sculpture

1994-early 1996

Glazed stoneware

28 3/4 x 15 x 8 1/4 inches

Inv# 10844

SOLD

Maeda Masahiro (b. 1948), Vessel with geoemetric patterning

Maeda Masahiro (b. 1948)

Vessel with geoemetric patterning

2006

Polychrome overglaze enameled porcelain

10 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches

Inv# 10876

SOLD

Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979), Leaning vessel with geometric patterning

Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979)

Leaning vessel with geometric patterning

ca. 1970

Glazed stoneware with white and black slip-glaze

9 x 8 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Inv# 10765

SOLD

Installations

Press Release

press release pt 3

As a technical innovator and genius with surface decoration, Tomimoto Kenkichi was the founder of the ceramics department at Kyoto City University of Arts, which profoundly changed the direction for the next generation of clay artists. Tomimoto believed that patterns should never be reused and took inspiration from Nature in order to keep his work fresh and new, often instructing his students:

“For pattern, look to nature and its beauty–– form, line, and color. Study and understand how they are structured.”

Not born into a traditional pottery family but educated in things Western, having traveled in the West and befriended the major English ceramic artist, Bernard Leach, Tomimoto had a much broader view of Japanese ceramics than many of his contemporaries. As a teacher, he expounded on the importance of individuality, originality, and the confluence of forms and patterns. Throughout his life, he remained steadfast in his own beliefs and attempted to instill these ethical values in his pupils.

“The legacy Tomimoto left his students, through his many texts and instructions at university, is of utmost importance to the history of Japanese art….The discourse of modern Japanese ceramics was profoundly affected by Tomimoto’s teaching.”

MEGHEN M. JONES (Dissertation, 2014, p. 287)

press release pt 4

Vessel Explored / Vessel Transformed: Tomimoto Kenkichi and his Enduring Legacy will showcase works by the teacher along with ceramics by his former pupils, artists and teachers in their own right, and their pupils. Noteworthy among this illustriou group are:
Kamoda Shōji,
Kondō Yūzō,
Kuriki Tatsusuke,
Matsuda Yuriko,
Tamura Kōichi,
Tsuboi Asuka,
Wada Morihiro and
Yanagihara Mutsuo.

From the third generation are:
Hayashi Kaku,
Koike Shōko,
Kondō Takahiro,
Maeda Masahiro,
Matsui Kōsei,
Ogawa Machiko, and
Tashima Etsuko. Masterworks by many of the greatest stars of Japanese modern and contemporary ceramics will be  on view, some created specifically for this important exhibition. 

“For pattern, look to nature and its beauty–– form, line, and color. Study and understand how they are structured.”

TOMIMOTO KENKICHI

press release pt 5

Additionally, to give further historical context to the show, the exhibition will include vessels by several of Tomimoto’s renowned contemporaries in the field: Hamada Shōji, Kawai Kanjirō, Kitaōji Rosanjin, Kiyomizu Rokubey VII, and Yagi Kazuo, all of whom took independent paths.

In our accompanying scholarly publication, we are honored to include scholarly essays by noted experts: Kida Takuya, Professor at Musashino Art University and author of numerous articles on this topic; Meghen M. Jones, Assistant Professor of Art History at Alfred University who wrote her dissertation on Tomimoto; and emerging scholar Trevor Menders. Their essays are complemented by recollections from several of Tomimoto’s former pupils and pioneers in their own right. 

ABOUT JOAN B MIRVISS LTD

Joan B. Mirviss has been a distinguished expert in Japanese art, specializing in fine art and ceramics for more than forty years. She is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue, JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in her field, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations. For show information and high-resolution images, please contact the gallery director at 212-799-4021 or via director@mirviss.com.

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