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.
Green Oribe-glazed round tsubo (vessel) with iron-oxide splash patterning and incised decoration
7 3/4 x 6 1/4 in.
Rounded Oribe-glazed tsubo (vessel) with slightly raised irregular mouth covered in iron-oxide splash patterning and incised decoration
7 3/4 x 6 5/8 in.
Kohiki-style painted double-glazed vase with calligraphic splash patterning in iron-oxide glaze
Stoneware with white slip, ash, and iron-oxide glazes
8 1/2 x 7 7/8 in.
Kohiki-glazed water jar with calligraphic decoration in iron glaze and a fitted black lacquer lid
7 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.
Stoneware with oribe glaze
7 7/8 x 8 1/4 in.
Large stoneware vessel with green Oribe glaze
13 1/4 x 10 3/4 in.
Green Oribe-glazed round vessel with multiple “dragonfly-eye” effect on bottom and incised decoration
10 3/8 x 8 1/4 in.
Dark brown, oribe-glazed tsubo (vessel) with splash patterning in iron-oxide and incised abstract patterning
11 5/8 x 10 1/4 in.
Blue-green and brown Oribe-glazed low sake cup with incised abstract designs on exterior wall
1 5/8 x 2 3/4 in.