Ceramics: Mingei to Modern, brings together a group of historic ceramic artists who were responsible for the development of mingei and a circle of contemporary artists inspired by the traditional ceramic craft practices of Japan. Both functional and decorative works from the 1950s to today will describe the significant impact the mingei movement has had on the practice of JB Blunk, many of his peers and contemporary artists working with clay.
The mingei movement arose in the mid-1920s as a response to the rapid industrialization and westernization of Japanese culture. Founded by philosopher Yanagi Sōetsu, mingei focused on the understated beauty and charm of art and crafts made by everyday people, or “folk craft”. According to Sōetsu, mingei art should be practical, affordable and represent the region in which it was made. JB Blunk was one of the first Americans to study the ceramic traditions of Japan and brought the mingei aesthetics with him to California in the early 1950s. Blunk studied with potter and Japanese National Treasure Toyo Kaneshige in Bizen, Japan, from 1952 to 1954. Blunk’s hero, however, was Shoji Hamada, a master Japanese potter who had a major influence on studio pottery of the twentieth century.
The exhibition includes pieces by Hamada and works from the original Toyo Kaneshige kiln by Toshiko Takaezu, one of the most important women in the field of contemporary ceramics. Also featured are peers of Blunk and giants in the world of ceramic art such as Peter Voulkos and John Mason.
There will be an opening reception on Saturday, October 9th, from 3-6pm.
Ceramics: Mingei to Modern is curated by Jeffrey Spahn Gallery.
Featuring artists and potters Lynda Benglis, JB Blunk, Richard Carter, Tyler Cross & Kyle Lypka, Richard Devore, Ruth Duckworth, Jean Francois Fouilhoux, Shoji Hamada, Ann Van Hoey, Catherine Hiersoux, Jun Kaneko, Hiruma Kazuyo, John Mason, Eric Nelson, Daniel Rhodes, Annabeth Rosen, Toshiko Takaezu, Robert Turner and Peter Voulkos.