Skip to content

Shifting Rhthyms: The Sculpted Moments of Koike Shōko

September 11 - October 19, 2018
Joan B Mirviss LTD 39 E 78 Street, New York, NY 10075

Joan B Mirviss is delighted to announce the opening on September 11th of Shifting Rhythms: The Sculpted Moments of Koike Shōko, the artist's third solo exhibition at Joan B Mirviss LTD. Collectors have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of these creations by this exceptionally talented clay artist and already nearly one third of the show has been reserved.

Koike Shōko (b. 1943) has always taken inspiration from nature, especially from the sea and plants. Swirling shell-like shapes and rising large leafed-vessels are punctuated in their recessed bases with puddled crystallized blue glaze in shades ranging from cerulean blue to pale celadon. While their spiraling forms do occur in nature, the centrifugal force generated by Koike when working on the potter's wheel, evokes for her, the rhythms of the universe beyond simply those of the ocean. The clay core thrown on the wheel then serves as the base for further hand-building, carving, shaping, and glazing, which ultimately results in pleated, dancing vessels bursting with energy. Koike believes her most recent clay orms embody a certain rhythm; whether flowing or staccato, each sculpture has been captured in a still moment drawn from an otherwise frenetic existence. As Koike has previously stated:

First I imagine the shape that dances a certain pulsating rhythm, which then extends to my hands and leads them to weave a form from the mound of clay before me." [2009]

Growing up, she was surrounded by creativity. Her mother, Koike Chie (1916-2014) was an internationally recognized fashion designer who had studied in Paris and was, for many decades an enormously influential and inspiring teacher at Bunka Fashion College. Thus, Koike Shōko's childhood was spent in a whirl of textiles and women's fashion, immersed in the intersection of color, pattern, and form, to the extent that upon reaching university she decided to evoke the same energy through a new medium: clay. As one of the first female graduates from the prestigious ceramics department of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where she studied under Fujimoto Yoshimichi (Nōdō) (1919-1992) a pupil of Tomimoto Kenkichi, Koike Shōko is among the few women ceramists of her generation to be a self-supporting studio-artist. In doing so, she has become one of the world's most recognized female ceramists, with sculptures in important museum collections throughout the world including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres; and Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Koike Shōko is the first of four monumental ceramists whose art, impact, and legacy Joan B Mirviss LTD will celebrate over the next ten months. The future exhibitions will focus on two other contemporary women masters Ogawa Machiko (b. 1946) in November, and Fujikasa Satoko (b. 1980) in May. In March, our ground-breaking Asia Week exhibition will center on Tomimoto Kenkichi (1886-1963) who was arguably considered Japan's most influential ceramist of all time.

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 in her field, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.

For further information on or images from Shifting Rhythms: The Sculpted Moments of Koike Shōko, please call 212-799-4021 or email