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Koie Ryōji

Koie Ryōji
bio pt 1


One of Japan's most versatile and forward-thinking contemporary artists, KOIE RYŌJI was best known as a ceramist but esteemed for his two-dimensional artwork as well. His love of experimentation led to his creation of “ceramic happenings,” with themes that were social and often political critiques of the horrors of the 20th century. Born in 1938 in Tokoname, one of the oldest ceramic centers in Japan, Koie studied ceramics locally but almost immediately developed his iconoclastic style. Rather than labor to preserve tradition, as a young man, he looked to movements in postwar contemporary art such as the abstract expressionist paintings of Jackson Pollock and the found-object ethos of Mono-ha. The gestural application of glazes on his ceramics created dynamic surfaces that reflected this innovative approach. His works can be found in the permanent collections of prominent museums on five continents.  

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