Seven Sages of Ceramics: Modern Japanese Masters
This year the gallery is concentrating on a coterie of modern masters: Arakawa Toyozo, Ishiguro Munemaro, Kamoda Shoji, Kawakita Handeishi, Kitaoji Rosanjin, Okabe Mineo and Yagi Kazuo. Joan has selected these artists very carefully, based on the superior work in seven different styles. Arakawa is a Living National Treasure who discovered the origin of the Shino ceramics in 1933. One of his pieces here is a hanaire in the form of a bamboo section. Ishiguro, also a Living National Treasure, is represented by a globular jar with a black-on-brown glaze taken directly from Song Cizhou. Kamoda, however, is strikingly modern with bold pots decorated with either painted or incised bands. Kawakita is more traditional with quasi-natural streaks of ochre over creamy bodies. Rosanjin, whose name is already famous, mastered all the nuances of Bizen, Oribe and other kilns and interpreted them in striking ways of his own. Okabe is a semi-traditionalist and one piece of his in the show is an irregularly crushed water jar covered with a crackled glaze in direct imitation of Southern Song Geyao. Yagi, the original spokesman and central figure of the Sodeisha group, concentrates on objects that are neither purely functional nor purely sculptural nor purely decorative. All-in-all, it promises to be an eye-darting exhibition.
As an adjunct to these potters, there will be prints and scrolls on exhibition, including works by Utamaro and Yoshimura Kokei.