Kondō Takahiro: Making Waves is on view at Joan B Mirviss LTD, New York
March 16 – April 22, 2022
After six years of planning, acclaimed contemporary artist Kondō Takahiro presents his latest solo exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD this spring for Asia Week New York. These thirty new sculptures in swirling whirlpools of black, gray, and white marbleized porcelain glisten with ‘silver mist’ that resembles morning dew. His signature gintekisai (silver mist) overglaze technique finds new expression here as he plays with scale in striking geometric forms that catch light from daring angles. In a departure from his earlier “Wave” artworks, Kondō incorporates a whiter clay into his marbleization (nerikomi) technique. Its combination with the darker clay that seemingly flows down the surfaces creates an ink-on-paper effect, transforming his sculptures into what he calls “porcelain ink paintings”. From major zig-zagging rhomboidal monoliths to glass-capped vessels to wondrous teabowls, the incomparable skill and singular creativity of master artist Kondō Takahiro is on full display in MAKING WAVES.
As an artist, Kondō Takahiro (b. 1958) has always been focused on water, especially as a lifegiving and spiritual force. However, following the devastating 3.11 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Kondō gained new perspective on the dichotomy of water’s creative and destructive powers. Reflecting on the many aspects of water since then, Kondō has returned in MAKING WAVES to this inherent tension. On some of his smaller table-top forms, the blending of the clay in pooling thin layers of gray and black, set against the white ground, conjures gentle, lapping tides. On larger sculptures, the swirling layers plummet downwards, evoking powerful rapids and crashing waterfalls; additionally, the capping or angled joining of large porcelain sections with clear and black cast-glass punctuated with air bubbles suggest floating seaweed. Reimagining clay’s relationship to another classical art form, ink painting, Kondō finds resonance in their shared origins in water. His new, extensive use of white clay enhances the contrast with the darker clay elements, and in so doing, heightens the artist’s own understanding of the ‘shape’ of water:
“The process of creating these sculptures made me more aware of how water, waves, and waterfalls flow. By incorporating a whiter clay, my work has evolved and been elevated. I feel that I have expressed the subtle and profound beauty of ink painting without using a brush, but by using clay.”
These planes of ‘porcelain ink painting’ joined at gravity-defying angles proved so difficult a technical feat that he insists that there will be no others in the future. Kondō considers this presentation of his “Wave” sculptures to be the culmination of his decades-long ginteki (silver mist) exploration. By bringing together beads of mist and surging waves in differing and endlessly evocative surfaces, he has captured the contradictions of water, held in breathtaking
Descended from a line of sometsuke (blue-and-white porcelain) masters based in Kyoto, Kondō Takahiro expanded upon the family tradition and quickly found his own style, one that draws from the past while constantly challenging himself on the path to further discovery. In 2020, his innovative artistry was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Art and Culture prize. Kondō has received several international awards and has been featured in exhibitions on five continents. Recently, his works have been featured in museum exhibitions in Toronto and Paris and has toured across the US in “Hands & Earth,” gracing the catalogue’s cover.
Joan B Mirviss has represented Kondō Takahiro for over twenty years and has placed major works in important museum collections, including: Asian Art Museum, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; Musée national des arts asiatiques-GUIMET, Paris, France; and the Seattle Art Museum, WA, to name just a very few.
Displayed alongside Kondō Takahiro’s latest works will be stunning ink paintings by Chinese artist and rising star Bingyi (b. 1975).
About Joan B. Mirviss LTD
With more than forty-five years of experience, Joan B. Mirviss remains a pillar in the field of Japanese art. As a dealer, scholar, curator, and advisor, she has been the driving force championing the top Japanese clay artists, who she represents exclusively, and whose works she has placed in major museums around the globe. Widely published as a highly respected expert, Mirviss has built many institutional and private collections of Japanese art. JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exhibits modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, ukiyo-e, and Japanese paintings from its exclusive Madison Avenue location in New York City.
Joan B Mirviss LTD
39 East 78th Street Suite 401
New York, NY 10075
Photos by Richard Goodbody. Courtesy of Joan B Mirviss LTD
- 1-2. Nami (Wave), 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” glaze, 15 1/8 x 9 3/4 x 5 1/2 in.
- 3. Nami (Wave), 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” overglaze, 18 1/8 x 7 x 4 1/2 in.
- 4-6. Nami (Wave), 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” overglaze, 19 3/8 x 9 7/8 x 4 1/2 in.
- 7-9. Wave, 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” overglaze, cast glass, removable stainless steel base, 40 1/2 x 7 1/8 x 4 3/4 in.
- 10-12. Nami (Wave), 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” overglaze, cast glass, 28 1/8 x 12 5/8 x 6 7/8 in.
- 13-15. Ginteki wan Nami (Wave teabowl with silver mist glaze), 2021, Marbleized porcelain, “silver mist” overglaze, 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.