Writing my last post on The Sculptural Turn led me to reflect on another wonderful collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics, in the Crocker Art Museum of Sacramento. I visited in June 2016, and the ceramics gallery was a definite highlight, presenting a choice selection of very high quality pieces.
There are some eye-catching celadons, such as a sinuous ceramic sculpture by Kino Satoshi (b.1987). This was first formed as a cylinder on a potter’s wheel, then dissected and reassembled in a new configuration. It is from a series of porcelain sculptures called Oroshi (“strong downwind from the mountain”).
There are two celadon bowls by Kawase Shinobu (b.1950), whose work I featured in this post in 2015. The first bowl, with its 16 lobes, is a triumph of form; the second, with its delicate “kingfisher” glaze, is a triumph of colour. This multi-coloured glaze took up to eight kiln firings to achieve and the artist sees it as evoking the plumage of the kingfisher.
In contrast, a red clay bowl by Ogawa Machiko (b.1946) has a primitive, earthy quality. Her work features in The Sculptural Turn, bearing similar hallmarks – the broken, unfinished edges, the cracks and fissures.
The display includes celebrated artists from the Mingei movement (focused on traditional crafts) such as Shoji Hamada (1894-1978), whose work I featured in this post in 2012 and in this post in 2016. Another key figure in the movement was Sakuma Totaro (1900-1976), represented here by a square plate with a fruit motif, the colours subtle yet uplifting.
Overall, a small but enthralling selection of Japanese ceramics – definitely worth a stop if you are visiting Sacramento.
Crocker Art Museum
All photos: SF
Above: Kino Satoshi, Sculpture, 2014. Porcelain with pale bluish white celadon glaze. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Kawase Shinobu, Bowl with 16 pinched edges, 2014. Porcellanous stoneware with celadon glaze. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Kawase Shinobu, Teabowl, “Kingfisher”, 2013. Porcellanous stoneware with reddish-green celadon glaze. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Ogawa Machiko, Vessel, no date. Red clay. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Wada Morihiro, Tea bowl, ca. 1996. Porcellanous stoneware with black glaze and red and orange slip glaze patterning. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Shoji Hamada, Covered box, no date. Stoneware. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Shoji Hamada, Flask, ca. 1968. Stoneware. Crocker Art Museum.
Below: Sakuma Totaro, Square plate, ca. 1970. Crocker Art Museum.