The Lowe Art Museum is thrilled to be able to present Hands & Earth: Six Perspectives on Japanese Contemporary Ceramics, which comprises important works by some of 20th- and 21-century Japan's most notable artists. Together these pieces provide an 80-year survey of Japanese master ceramicists, the breadth of whose creative output is highlighted by the range of differing shapes, glazes, and surface treatments on view. In doing so, they remind us of the enduring power of tradition in the face of innovation and that the "Old" is continuously bound to the "New" on time's relentless continuum. We forget this fact at our peril, for the past not only informs the present, it also shapes the future. This is why the Lowe- South Miami's oldest art museum and, to this day, the only institution of its kind in our region with a truly global, comprehensive collection- is committed to providing its diverse audiences with critical opportunities and necessary resources for engaging with contemporary culture through 5,000 years of human creativity.
Hands & Earth breathes life into this Mission by showcasing the power of tradition when it is harnessed in the service of our here and now, without, however, sacrificing authenticity, meaning, or beauty. Further honoring our commitment to serving our broad base of constituents are the scholarly essays so generously provided for this project by Andrew Maske and Meghen Jones. Dr. Maske's writings situates the works on view in the broader historical context, while Dr. Jones provides us with the tools for better understanding the physical properties- and the associative meaning- of the works included in this show. Similarly, Joan Mirviss's wonderful biographies give us snapshots of the lives and careers of the artists included in Hands & Earth while Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz' intriguing Q&A not only sheds light on the birth and evolution of their world-class holdings in Japanese ceramics but also provides fascinating insights into their views on collecting and the state of the art world today.