COMING TO LIFE: VERNAL EXPRESSIONS IN CLAY
New Work by Akashi Ryōtarō
MAY 2, 2023 – JUNE 16, 2023
This spring, two Japanese ceramic artists, still early in their careers, consider the timely themes of birth and growth in all new works created for Joan B Mirviss LTD. Coming to Life marks artist Akashi Ryōtarō's international solo debut. He explores new techniques with platinum overglaze that catches and throws light over the precisely carved surfaces of his biomorphic forms. Emerging from the shadows of the past few years, Akashi has recommitted to his artistic practice and found fresh inspiration from his observations of nature. His latest meditations on new life are reflected in his vigorous sculptural work presented in this solo exhibition, the first outside of Japan.
Seeking inspiration for this show, Akashi Ryōtarō (b. 1971) reconnected with nature in isolation. Though there is continuity with his previous work, his latest sculptures now demonstrate a deeper level of both intricacy and color. His newly developed technique that he calls hekikōsai refers to the blue-green colors that are hidden and revealed by shifting light. Akashi achieves this effect through multiple firings utilizing a copper or ash underglaze and his signature platinum overglaze.
This multistep process enables him to preserve the sharp, clean lines of his original form. His intricately carved textures are a result of his profound appreciation for the wondrous textures found in nature, whether on a leaf or seed or the feathers of a bird's wing.
He strives to capture the complexity that he observes in nature and the emotional experiences that such encounters evoke:
"The reason I make intricate surfaces is that I think the textures that occur in nature are indescribably beautiful. If you observe carefully, nature's textures are very complicated and profound, and humans cannot match this kind of beauty. I can only try to create something as beautiful as what nature creates."
- Akashi Ryōtarō
Akashi Ryōtarō built his kiln in Chiba Prefecture and has for the past twenty years taught many students there at a ceramics school that he founded. In addition, he has taught part- time in the Department of Design at Nihon Kōgakuin (NEEC). Resisting the confines of being labeled solely as an artist, Akashi explores other creative interests such as music and acting. Still relatively early in his ceramics career, Akashi's work can already be found in the collections of the Cincinnati Museum of Art, OH and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX in the US.
Coming to Life: Vernal Expressions in Clay opens on May 2, 2023 and runs through June 2023. The exhibition will feature fifteen new sculptural works by Akashi Ryōtarō created exclusively for this show at Joan B Mirviss LTD. The gallery is open to visitors weekdays, 11am to 6pm and by appointment. Coming to Life will also be accessible online at www.mirviss.com
ABOUT JOAN B MIRVISS LTD
With more than forty-five years of experience, Joan B. Mirviss is a pillar in the field of Japanese art. As a dealer, scholar, curator, and advisor, she has been the driving force championing the top Japanese clay artists, who she represents exclusively, and whose works she has placed in major museums around the globe. Widely published as a highly respected expert, Mirviss has built many institutional and private collections of Japanese art. JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exhibits modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, ukiyo-e, and Japanese paintings from its exclusive Madison Avenue location in New York City.
For more information, please contact us at 212-799-4021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.