ITŌ HIDEHITO (b. 1971)
“Space;" major craquelure celadon-glazed, flattened round sculpture with ridged waist
9 7/8 x 17 1/8 in.
For his first solo exhibition outside of Japan, ITŌ HIDEHITO has created uniquely personal vessels and sculptural forms displaying his exceptional skill in craquelure celadon. Through steadfast experimentation, Itō pushed himself to create his largest ever works exclusively for this show, Classical Dignity, Contemporary Beauty. His long study of Song Dynasty ceramics and techniques has led to his latest celadon works presented for his New York debut. Pushing his forms even further, some are fully sculptural and flaunt the craquelure effect in light-catching spherical shapes or sharply pleated monoliths.
“Space” is one of Itō’s first fully sculptural works. The flattened sphere is, upon closer inspection, a half-rounded base capped by a slightly larger, flattened dome heightened by thick layers of dripping glaze around the ridged waist. The artist’s mastery of glaze is on full display in this, one of his largest works ever, as the glass-like surface reveals a “cracked ice” effect underneath in brilliant blue. An exceedingly difficult effect to achieve, which was once considered lost in the modern era and is historically found in Song Dynasty ceramics reserved for the court, Itō’s masterful sculpture exhibits his exceptional technique in a highly original way. As the light, or the viewer, moves and turns, the cracked ice appears to flow and run along the curved surface.