Courtesy artist and Tina Kim Gallery
Jun Kaneko: A Stage for a Shared Dream / Locks Gallery, Philadelphia
May 2-31, 2014
Locks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of ceramic works by the artist Jun Kaneko, alongside video excerpts of the artist’s opera design for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute.
Stemming from his ongoing concerns regarding spatial relationships and installation, Kaneko has fluidly moved between his sculpture and theater practice. The late art critic Arthur C. Danto applauded Kaneko’s previous opera design (for Madama Butterfly) stating that, “The production unfolds like a shared dream.”
The exhibition highlights the imaginative color palettes along with the bold and organic patterns that have become a creative signature for Kaneko’s interdisciplinary aesthetic. Discussing his glazing process, the artist remarked that, “I start thinking about orchestration of the colors around the work as a whole… sort of like a symphony. Everything has to make an interesting harmony to become one, to be there as one statement.”
With this installation of Kaneko’s Dango (freestanding stele forms) and wall-mounted slab works, a new conversation can begin between the artist’s studio and his contributions to the opera stage. Within the varying forms of his Dangos, their figurative presence is transformed to the theatrical. The exhibition is presented on the occasion of the east coast debut of The Magic Flute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. alongside an installation of monumental Dangos in the Hall of Nations.
Jun Kaneko (born in Nagoya, Japan) lives and works in Nebraska. The artist has shown extensively in the U.S. since 1964 and has had exhibits in Finland, Norway, Japan, South Korea and Canada. Kaneko’s work is in over fifty museum collections throughout the world including the Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Detroit Institute of Arts; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Museum of Art and Design, NY; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum; Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2013, Kaneko’s recent sculptural works were the focus of a large-scale installation in Millennium Park in Chicago.
Kaneko’s design for the opera Fidelio debuted at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in 2008. The east coast debut of his design for the opera Madama Butterfly became the catalyst for a citywide celebration in Philadelphia with sculptural exhibitions at the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza, City Hall, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at Locks Gallery.
Coinciding with the Locks Gallery exhibition is a sculptural installation in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of Nations from April 9th through May 19th, 2014. The Magic Flute— featuring Jun Kaneko’s set, projection, and costume design—will run at the Kennedy Center from May 3rd through the 18th, 2014.
Annabeth Rosen / Ventana244, Brooklyn
May 2 – June 14, 2014
Opening reception: Friday, May 2, 6–9 pm.
Ventana 244 is pleased to present new work by Annabeth Rosen, who will be showing a group of pieces developed over the last few years - lumpen forms with rich, densely packed and cracked molten surfaces. The shapes and surfaces seem to have emerged from the natural world and are described in her words as “…reduced in scale into concentrated simple forms… Heaps or hives or nests, sometimes with a human interference, formed by an intensive, focused energy. Against the weight and the impervious nature of fired ceramics, they seem to be in flux, slowly heaving and settling. Unsure if the works are found or formed… they infer yielding and resistance, thoughtfulness and recklessness…”
In the catalogue, Nancy Princenthal writes about Rosen’s work and includes this quote from Lucretius: “No rest, we may be sure, is given to atoms in the void abyss but rather, as unceasing different movements impel them, some, colliding, leap great intervals apart, while others recoil only a short distance from the impact… “
Rosen holds the Robert Arneson Endowed Chair in Ceramic Sculpture at The University of California Davis and is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim and Beam Contemporary Art. Her work can be found in the collections of The Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Oakland Museum of California, and The Denver Art Museum, and in many private collections.
A catalogue of Rosen’s work from 1989 to the present includes an essay by Nancy Princenthal was published for the exhibit with support from Beam Contemporary and The University of California Davis. The exhibition is curated by Josie Browne and organized by Dan McCarthy.
Gail Nichols: Atmosphere / Narek Galleries, Tanja, NSW, Australia
January 10 - February 24, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, January 11, 6 pm.
Earth, air, fire and water are the essential elements in Gail Nichols’ vessels, both figuratively and metaphorically. The infinite landscape surrounding her home and studio at the base of Mt. Budawang near Braidwood not only inspires her strong, wheel thrown forms, it also provides the atmosphere that affects the soda vapour glaze firings. Moist air and damp earth will create a different firing result to days of low humidity.
A bowl filled with air and light and described by its own materiality, may have an irregular rim reflecting the undulating horizon and a luscious glaze of glassy celadon or shadowy grey mauve or rich, thick cream and molten soft browns tinged with fiery orange clay at the base. These glazes are created by swirling soda vapours in the firing process reacting with elements deep within the clay and each pot is placed in the kiln so that intended surfaces will occur.
Nichols’ control of kiln atmosphere has been gained over years of extensive research, leading to a PhD at Monash University in 2002. Her book, Soda Clay and Fire, published by the American Ceramic Society, is a leading text in the field. Her work is represented in Australian and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia.
Gallery hours: Friday to Monday, 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM, and by appointment.
Mud and Water exhibition / Rokeby Gallery, London
December 16, 2013 - March 7, 2014
ROKEBY‘s inaugural exhibition in its new gallery space looks to the history of British studio ceramics and the Modernist rhetoric used by figures associated with the movement. Including work by a selection of British Studio Potters alongside contemporary artists working across media, the exhibition investigates a current interest in process, materiality and truthfulness to medium.
Exhibited artists: Jack Brindley, Clive Bowen, Jane Bustin, Michael Cardew, Edwin Beer Fishley, The Granchester Pottery, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Bernard Leach, Janet Leach, Kate Newby, Chris Prindl, Gideon Rubin, Nicola Tassie, Jesse Wine, Mizuyo Yamashita
Despite a recent tendency to see ceramics and the modern British art movement as separate disciplines the two are closely interwoven. The approaches of artists working in clay such as Bernard Leach, considered the father of the British studio pottery, and Michael Cardew (1) mirrored the Modernist ideas gaining currency in Britain in the early 1920’s in both painting and sculpture. Post war art in Britain drew upon - amongst other things - the tradition of the handmade. This is especially true in St Ives where Bernard Leach chose to set up his first pottery. Leach united the classical pottery traditions of Asia (2) including their taste for imperfections with those of English slipware potters to define the modernist vernacular revival.
The exhibition brings together a group of cross-generational artists all of whom are experimental in their approach. When Leach and Cardew looked to the history of slipware in Britain they were never nostalgic (3). Rather they combined pre-industrial techniques with a Modernist spirit; combining raw materials with the performative act of making and inherited forms with a simpler more direct language.
No straightforward link is suggested in bringing the artists together in this exhibition, but an inheritance of concerns and a shared interest in the handling of material and unpredictable processes can be perceived, regardless of their chosen medium. It is the principles and values of heterogeneity, destabilization and irrationality that interest them all, a questioning of the distinctions between art and craft and a concern for the physical - and especially the human body - in the making and viewing the work.
(1) Cardew was a pupil of Leach’s in St Ives from 1923-26.
(2) Leach was born in Hong Kong but spent his first years in Japan. He attended the Slade, London and in 1909 arrived in Japan for a second time.
(3) The earliest work in the exhibition is an earthenware slipware mug by Edwin Beer Fishley from Michael Cardew’s private collection. Cardew had a particular affinity for Edwin Beer Fishley and counted the rural potter as one of his most important influences.
With thanks to Timothy Taylor Gallery and David Bowie for loaning work to the exhibition and Simon Jones for providing exhibition furniture.
Ken Mihara: Serenity in Clay / Liverpool Street Gallery, Sydney
November 16 - December 12, 2013
Ken Mihara’s ceramics are a visual ode to his native land, Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, known as the capital of the gods; a land steeped in ancient Japanese myths and legends. The vessels are a culmination of elegant shapes, soft delicate curves, and ancient forms inspired by the surrounding land. Mihara’s striking palette of blues and dark greys intersperses with bursts of beige, gold and orange hues.
Using clay rich in iron from his native Shimane Prefecture, Mihara constructs each work through an organic creative process. Each piece is hand formed using a coil and oinch technique to create a strong linear quality. Mihara states: “I consider it my job to help the clay express its beauty”, and likewise, “clay leads, and my hands follow. I do not know what shape my work is going to end up even while I am making it.” (Ken Mihara in conversation with Nishi Keiko, An interview with artist Mihara Ken, e-yakimono.net, August 2002) His most recent series titled Kei (Mindscape) generate a sense of movement and vitality through gentle folding and bending. The vessels feature double-walled interiors that swirl and spiral similar to small galaxies. The outer walls subtly embrace a complex interior; whilst at the same time the compositional tension allows the form to unravel.
Mihara’s most revered series, Kigen (Genesis), are primordial in formation. The structures are symmetrical and balanced, which create a unique combination of subtlety and solidity. The rough, unrefined and grainy surface texture adds to the ancient ambiance. Mihara repeatedly fires the vessels at high temperatures to slowly unlock subtle and soft colours ranging from deep grey to peach to misty whites and purples. Mihara states: “The high degree of chance and serendipity in any firing is far beyond my control.” (Ken Mihara, “Mihara Ken – The power of chance”, Ceramics Art and Perception, issue 73, 2008, p84)
Ken Mihara was born in 1958 in Izumo, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. After completing his studies in 1982 with Funaki Kenji, Mihara participated in numerous exhibitions and prizes. In 2005, he received a grant from Tomo Museum to travel for 6 months throughout Italy, from Milan, then south to Florence, Rome and Sicily. Mihara has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2008; Paramita Ceramics Competition, Paramita Museum, Japan in 2006; The Energia Art Award in 2002 and the Shizuoka Prefecture’s Cultural Encouragement Award in 2009. Mihara has exhibited internationally with SOFA New York, New York (2008), Galerie Besson, London (2010), and most recently with Joan B Mirviss Gallery, New York (2011). His works are held in public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles and The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Since 1996, he has been represented by Yufuku Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.
The Liverpool Street Gallery concomitently hosts the solo exhibition of artist Kevin Lincoln.