Since World War II, women have made influential contributions to the ceramics field in Japan that have not been adequately recognized. This exhibition focuses on the explosion of innovative and technically ambitious compositions by such artists since 1970—a body of work which they developed in parallel with, but often separately from, traditional, male-dominated Japanese practice and its countermovements.
Both established and emerging artists with a range of styles are presented together to showcase their collective achievements and impact. Mishima Kimiyo (born 1932), Tsuboi Asuka (born 1932), and Ogawa Machiko (born 1946) began their careers decades ago and continue to produce groundbreaking sculpture that pushes the limits of the clay medium. Konno Tomoko (born 1967), Aoki Katsuyo (born 1972), and Oishi Sayaka (born 1979) are part of younger generations and are represented by thematic groupings ranging from bodily distortion to fantastical decoration. While all of these women have routinely confronted expectations about their practice, they have frequently responded by refusing gender-imposed constraints, whether by approaching traditionally “feminine” subjects—such as flowers—in unconventional ways or by creating so-called “masculine” works, such as large, geological forms.
All of the selected pieces are from the exemplary collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, who are thrilled to bring these artists to global attention.
Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan is curated by Janice Katz, Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art, the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue with essays by Katz, Joe Earle, and Hollis Goodall.
Member Lecture, Saturday, December 16, 2023, 2-3pm
Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists of Japan
Join Janice Katz, Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art, for a discussion of the exhibition.
Member exclusive. Registration required.
Conversation, Saturday, March 23, 2024, 2-3pm
Hosono Hitomi and Yamaguchi Mio on Radical Clay
Join curator Janice Katz and catalogue editor Joe Earle for a conversation with artists Hosono Hitomi and Yamaguchi Mio on Radical Clay.
Lead support for Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan is generously provided by Carol & Jeffrey Horvitz.
Additional support is contributed by the Japan Foundation.