A visually striking color combination featured in the finest art across Asia for centuries, blue and white can be found effectively paired in all types of Japanese art. It is their renowned ceramics that have been the most prominent medium to explore dynamic expressions in blue and/or white, from traditional styles to innovative contemporary forms.
For Asia Week New York 2024, Joan B Mirviss LTD will showcase the enduring legacy of this timeless aesthetic in Japanese modern and contemporary clay. This exploration will be through the lens of the esteemed Kyoto-based Kondō family, distinguished masters of sometsuke (cobalt blue and white porcelain) whose lineage includes Living National Treasure Kondō Yūzō (1902-1985). Across multiple generations, their mastery of sometsuke culminates in the work of our celebrated gallery artist, Kondō Takahiro (b. 1958), who broke free of his forefathers' traditional focus. For this exhibition, he has created a new series titled, “Clear Water” that features marbleized porcelain that gives the appearance of pale blue streams flowing across the surfaces of his dramatic sculptural work. Combined with his patented gintekisai "silver mist" overglaze, these works by Kondō Takahiro point the way forward to what this enduring marriage of blue and white can look like in the twenty- first century.
Eternal Partnership: Japanese Ceramics in Blue/ White includes exceptional work by twenty additional Japanese ceramic artists expressing their artistry in blue and/or white across a wide range of original forms and styles. This gallery exhibition is presented in conjunction with Porcelains in the Mist: The Kondō Family of Ceramicists at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The artist Kondō Takahiro will be present for in-person events hosted by Joan B Mirviss LTD during Asia Week New York.
Porcelains in the Mist was first shown at the Lowe Art Museum in Miami, FL under the title Transcendent Clay: KONDŌ, A Century of Japanese Ceramic Art and accompanied by an exhibition catalogue of the same name. Drawn from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection, the Kondō family exhibition features over sixty artworks from four different Kondō artists. It will continue to travel to other US museum locations after Brooklyn, starting with the Ringling Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum.
Descended from a line of Kyoto samurai, KONDŌ YŪZŌ (1902-1985) was inspired by the clay traditions surrounding his ancestral family home near Kiyomizu Temple to pursue ceramics professionally. With influential master Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) as his mentor, Yūzō’s painterly and expressive sometsuke (cobalt-blue-on-white-porcelain) aesthetics earned him the designation of Living National Treasure in 1977.
Continuing in his father’s aesthetic tradition, KONDŌ HIROSHI (1936-2013) assumed responsibility for Yūzō's kiln Nennendō after his death and created elegant and accessible blue-and-white porcelain work.
Throughout his career, KONDŌ TAKAHIRO (b. 1958), Hiroshi’s son, has striven to determine his own independent artistic identity through extensive experimentation. His patented and highly distinctive “silver mist” (gintekisai) glaze, which is an amalgam of platinum, gold, silver and glass frit, ranges in appearance from a subtle shimmer to a stream of molten drops that cling and pool over the porcelain surfaces. Water has been his principal theme for many decades, as he has explored both its creative and destructive qualities.
“In Takahiro’s work, we have a master craftsman, a gifted sculptor, and a conceptual artist all in one. This potent combination has allowed him to radically extend Japanese ceramic art without being contained by that category, or indeed any other.”
- Glenn Adamson in Transcendent Clay: KONDO A Century of Japanese Ceramic Art (Lowe Art Museum, Miami: 2023), p. 124.
Eternal Partnership will be presented at Joan B Mirviss LTD during Asia Week New York and will continue until April 19, 2024. In addition to the Kondō artists, it will feature work by past masters such as Hamada Shōji, Kawai Kanjirō, Kitaōji Rosanjin, Kamoda Shōji, Kusube Yaichi, Ono Hakuko, Tomimoto Kenkichi and by younger contemporary talents such as Inaba Chikako, Imai Sadamasa, Kuwata Takurō, and Tanaka Yū.
Gallery Shibunkaku of Kyoto, Japan will present a fine selection of modern paintings at our Madison Avenue gallery space during Asia Week New York.
About Joan B. Mirviss LTD
With more than forty-five years of experience, Joan B. Mirviss remains 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.