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Press Release

Press release pt 1

To mark our fortieth year participating in the prestigious Winter Show, and its first ever online-only edition, Joan B Mirviss LTD presents MASTERWORKS OF MODERN JAPANESE PORCELAIN.

Highly-prized in the East and West for centuries, porcelain evokes a rich history of luscious objects that, over long experimentation across varied forms and styles, always manages to balance contradictions: cold and warm, spare and decorative, strong yet delicate, functional and sculptural, traditional and contemporary. Each piece carefully selected for this exhibition exemplifies the extraordinary, even alchemical, way in which this luxurious material can embody opposing qualities while simultaneously revealing subtle aspects that are altogether new. It is no wonder that collectors all over the world have long been attracted to porcelain, and that forward-thinking artists today are finding new modes of personal expression in this dynamic medium.

press release pt 2

Modern Japanese ceramics can be traced to the great TOMIMOTO Kenkichi (1886-1963), whose influence and impact were undeniably profound. TOMIMOTO marked the turn from traditional modes of clay creation toward the new approaches that define the modern era. A very fine example of his white porcelain vessel is a highlight of our exhibition. Likened to a human body, this undecorated, deceptively simple vessel can be considered his paean to a naked form. His influence lives on in today's artists, such as in the distinctive gold and silver patterned decorations of MAEDA Masahiro (b. 1948), and in the constantly innovative forms and techniques of KONDŌ Takahiro (b. 1958). Two stunning sculptures by Kondō are newly exhibited here for The Winter Show.

press release pt 3

The post-World War II era marked the beginning of a radical new period for art, and Japanese ceramics were no exception. The avant-garde Sōdeisha ceramic movement, led by SUZUKI Osamu (1926-2001) and YAMADA Hikaru (1923-2001), among others, argued for a radical departure from the perceived limitations of tradition. Works in porcelain by each of these groundbreaking artists, who were boldly aware of the material's formidable history, are also included. Their mark is no less indelible on subsequent generations. An emergent younger cohort of artists is exploring porcelain’s possibilities in sculptural form, exploiting in particular its duality of strength and malleability. KINO Satoshi’s (b. 1987) hard-as-stone seihakuji ribbons curve and ripple into space, and FUKUMOTO Fuku (b. 1973), a rare woman in the group, creates tiered, overlapping structures that both drip down and reach upwards in enticing silhouettes accented with threads of brilliant glaze. 

Press release pt 4

Alongside this excellent survey of modern Japanese porcelain, we present a group of ukiyo-e prints by renowned masters, such as Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). Also on display is a very fine pair of small two-fold screens by Matsumura Keibun (1779-1843), whose spring landscape with cranes showcases his precise and delicate brushwork.

Joan B Mirviss is the leading dealer in Japanese fine art and ceramics. 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 in her field for over forty years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many international museums and major private collectors. For more information or to request high-resolution images, please call 212-799-4021 or email

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