Pottery is one of the oldest forms of crafts and art in Japan. Ceramics culture flourished there for over 15,000 years, with an emphasis on practical objects, especially pots used in the tea ceremony. In 1948, the Sodeisha group began the movement towards modern ceramics, challenging the tradition of functional pottery. Many works produced by Sodeisha artists omitted the holes so that their pieces would not be seen as vases or pots. These artists emphasized form rather than function. The vision of Sodeisha artists shaped the future of Japanese art.
Georgia Art Museum at the University of Georgia will present the show “Contemporary Japanese ceramics from the Horvitz collectionUntil September 26, 2021. The exhibition represents three generations of artists, some of whom were part of the Sodeisha group and who all follow or have followed the philosophy initiated by these avant-garde ceramists at the end of the 1940s.
All works in the exhibition come from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz. The Horvitze began collecting contemporary Japanese ceramics in 2008. They make annual trips to Japan to visit the artists, their workshops and their studios. On these trips, they buy works to add to their collection, which is one of the largest outside of Japan. Their collections contain more than 800 works by more than 300 artists, including Fujikasa Sakoto, Kawase Shinobo and Sazuki Osamu. They selected each piece for its potential to be placed in a museum, whether on loan or on a more permanent basis, and have donated numerous works to museums across the United States.
Museum director William U. Eiland and decorative arts curator Dale Couch selected the ceramics for this exhibition. Visiting curator Perri Lee Roberts, professor emeritus at the University of Miami, wrote labels and wall texts to explain the meaning of each object. The exhibits are mainly vases and vases.
“We actually decided to emphasize the structural nature of ceramics for this loan and this exhibition,” Eiland said. One ceramic that stands out most for Eiland is Kimura Yoshiro’s striking blue orb-shaped sculpture. Kimura’s fascination with the many shades of blue found in the sea and the sky led her to use only traditional Japanese aquamarine enamel.
The exhibition highlights the diversity of contemporary Japanese pottery and porcelain, showcasing works of art crafted from ancient and modern materials and methods. These works are linked by their craftsmanship and sophistication.
“I want [visitors] to take a gift from the Georgia Art Museum: the gift of beauty, skilled craftsmanship, the joy of clean shape and design, ”said Eiland.