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HORI ICHIRŌ (b. 1952)
Nezumi-shino diagonally faceted, flattened vessel with swirling iron-oxide patterning
Glazed stoneware
16 1/2 x 15 x 11 3/4 in.

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HORI ICHIRŌ’s innovative use of traditional Mino-style glazes on his highly original wood-fired vessels is on full display in Classical Dignity, Contemporary Beauty. Based on the ancient aesthetics and techniques of Mino, Hori's artistic viewpoint clearly emerges in his robust forms. Known primarily in Japan for his Shino and Seto teabowls, Hori has created, for his New York debut at Joan B Mirviss LTD, twenty new masterworks in a range of styles and shapes that showcase his absolute command of firing and glazing techniques.

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Hori’s oeuvre results from long periods of contemplation. He fires his kilns just twice a year, using long, low-heat firings to allow the clay’s deep-reddish tone to emerge through the thick, creamy glazes. This large vessel is a powerful example of Hori’s complete mastery of the interplay between form, glaze, and firing. Unusually oversized for a functional vessel, its shape recalls the rugged mountainous landscape where Hori lives and works at his artist retreat in Gifu Prefecture, the historic heart of Japan’s 16th-century ceramic production.

The swirling pattern of the nezumi-shino glaze lends the vessel an additional dimension of movement overlaying the diagonal facets running across its form. The thickly applied glaze has pulled and crawled across the vessel, resulting in a reptilian-like texture that creates an appealingly tactile surface. Features such as its unique shape, larger scale, and distinctive mouth situate this by-definition functional vessel right at the boundary of contemporary sculpture.


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