Takegoshi Jun, Square vessel with sloped shoulders depicting scenes of Japanese crested ibises, 2017. Porcelain with polychrome kutani enamel glazes, 10 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 9 in
The first-ever joint exhibition of the two celebrated and innovative ceramic masters, Takegoshi Jun and Nakamura Takuo, both inspired by traditional kutani ware, opened at Joan B Mirviss LTD. Titled Beyond Kutani: Innovation in Color and Form, the much anticipated show will feature both functional and sculptural forms, all boldly decorated with polychrome under-glazing and overglaze enamels. Drawing from the traditional ko-kutani palette of emerald green, mustard yellow, peacock blue, brick red and eggplant purple (go-sai) that is further heightened with a vast array of colorful and metallic glazes derived from classical rinpa decorative traditions, these artists cover their white porcelain or white and red stoneware surfaces with designs based on ancient literature and painting with a strong to nod towards nature. Featuring over 40 new works created expressly for the occasion, this exhibition highlights these two ceramists’ unique and divergent aesthetics, both developed in response to time-honored kutani artistic traditions but cast in very contemporary modes.
NAKAMURA TAKUO (b. 1945) strives to combine the local tradition of kutani from Ishikawa Prefecture with a modern sense of form and color. Although unquestionably adventurous in his experimentations with stoneware clay, Nakamura adheres to the artistic principles of design-oriented rinpa painting tradition dating back to the early 17th century masters while simultaneously breaking from the traditional appearance of kutani. By combining these uniquely Japanese traditions, he takes a contemporary approach to both by decorating multi-piece stoneware deconstructions of traditional forms, allowing for greater freedom and interpretation of the balance between interior and exterior spaces. He explains: “It is my hope that my work successfully initiates a dialogue between the artist and the eventual owner that continues with every use. I believe that the true completion of my work can only be accomplished through the creative implementation on the part of the user.” The art of Nakamura Takuo has been shown widely throughout Japan and can be found in museum collections throughout the United States.
TAKEGOSHI JUN ( or Taizan IV; b. 1948) was born in Ishikawa Prefecture, where kutani has flourished for centuries, and was trained in the traditional techniques of his family by his father, Takegoshi Taizan III (1919-1984). Following studies at university of traditional nihonga painting, he returned to the world of porcelain with the eye and brush of a painter. Takegoshi treats his forms as three-dimensional canvases by painting their surface decoration with rich, jewel-like polychrome enamels with designs inspired by nature. His delightful, often animated, depictions of birds, flowers, and plants complement and accentuate the form of each vessel. Takegoshi’s unique glazing and unusually high temperature firing techniques combine to produce the appearance of light emanating through his glazes, creating both translucent and opaque effects on his porcelain surfaces. He was the recipient of the prestigious Japan Ceramic Society Award in 2006 and his works grace important Japanese collections and museums as well as those in the West, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA.