HORI ICHIRŌ (b. 1952)
Ki-seto vessel with raised neck, narrow base and concentric linear bands
12 1/2 x 10 1/8 in.
Born into a ceramic-making family in the historic Mino region of Japan, HORI ICHIRŌ studied as a young man under Living National Treasure Katō Kōzō (b. 1935) and has since resided at a kiln compound he built isolated from modern life. A self-described mountain man who lives in semi-seclusion, Hori’s exceptionally powerful works in a range of Mino styles are by no means stuck in the past. From thick, crawling Shino glazes on swirling vessels to excellent ki-seto works in restrained yellows, he brings an exciting modern perspective to a venerable tradition.
Hori proves his mastery of form, glaze, and firing in this outstanding vessel. He excels at this style of exceptionally difficult ash-glazed ki-seto ware, in which a pale yellow color is applied to a roughly textured surface. The long, low-heat wood firings produce a soft, matte yellow color that subtly merges with the gradations of warm tones in the clay body. Its irregular form and coarse texture enable the glaze to catch, pool, and drip unevenly, creating remarkably different effects as the eye wanders across the surface. With his ki-seto works in this exhibition, his first solo show outside Japan, Hori demonstrates that he is rooted in classical styles while bringing those traditions forward with a strikingly contemporary flair.