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Press Release

press release pt 1

From June 21, 2021

Opening on the first day of summer, the latest exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD showcases the many ways that earth, through fire, can appear to transform into completely different materials. Our featured artists take advantage of this elemental change to shape clay into strikingly inventive sculptures. Some go further in exploiting these unexpected transformations by adding textures or patterns to evoke wood, metal, rubber, glass, stone, or textile.

press release pt 2

Through the use of a rare type of gray clay and multiple firings, Itō Tadashi (b.1952) creates sculptures that have the appearance of antique metal. The large geometric works of Imai Hyōe (b. 1951), with their hemispheres of concentric black bands, suggest the elasticity of rubber. Rectangular decorations in matte glazes on the tiered block form by Sawada Hayato (b. 1978) emphasize its wood-like appearance, as if it were hewn rather than molded.
Celadon glaze has long been prized for its translucent quality reminiscent of glass, a trait that Kino Satoshi (b. 1987), Minegishi Seikō (b. 1952), and Yagi Akira (b. 1955) highlight in their various light-catching sculptures.
Fujino Sachiko's (b. 1950) background in textiles informs her approach to folding and pleating clay with the intricacy of fabric, which in her latest sculptures she employs to great effect.
And in a rare departure from her biomorphic forms, a recent work by Katsumata Chieko (b. 1950) looks like an encrusted stone pillar excavated from ancient ruins, an effect enhanced by its ridged monolithic form and textured gray surface.

press release pt 3

Nowhere is the utter transformation of clay more evident, however, than in the flower forms of Sugiura Yasuyoshi (b. 1949). Sugiura's stunning, oversized summer blooms appear complete with delicate petals, curling leaves, and individual stamen. His naturalistic sculptures point to the real mysteries that can arise from the earth, as each of our artists explore the endlessly surprising transformations possible in clay.

Alongside these remarkable sculptures, we present a group of ukiyo-e prints by renowned masters such as Ohara Koson (1877-1945) and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-92). Also on display is a two-fold screen by Nagasawa Rosetsu (1754-1799), whose masterful composition of animated, swimming ducks is perfectly balanced with an open, unpainted sky.

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About Joan B. Mirviss LTD
Joan B. Mirviss has been a distinguished expert in Japanese art, specializing in fine art and ceramics for more than forty years. She is the leading Western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her New York gallery on Madison Avenue,
JOAN B MIRVISS LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors and corporations.

Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm.
For more information, or to make an appointment, please contact us at 212-799-4021 or

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