It is with great enthusiasm and pride that I seize this opportunity to put 30 works by Inoue Yūichi, one of the great artists of postwar Japan, before an American public. Yūichi’s early experiments were shown in New York six decades ago in the summer of 1954, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted the exhibition Japanese Calligraphy. This was one of two special shows (the other featured Japanese pottery) held around the opening of Yoshimura Junzō’s Japanese House, an event that ushered in modernist New York’s prolonged love affair with all things Japanese. 40 years later Yūichi’s searing masterpiece Ah, Yokokawa National School (1978), a work inspired by the horrors of wartime bombing, provoked comparison with Picasso’s Guernica when it was included in the exhibition Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky, curated by Alexandra Munroe and held at the Guggenheim Museum SoHo. Another visionary curator, Hasegawa Yūko of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, has recently brought renewed attention to Inoue Yūichi’s achievement by including him in the 2013 Sharjah Biennial. [...]
Publication accompanying the exhibiton Strokes at Leslie Feely Gallery
October 19-December 16, 2016
It is with great pride and pleasure that we host this exhibition of masterpieces by Fukami Sueharu, widely regarded as one of the greatest ceramic artists of the last forty years. More than a quarter of a century ago I found my first Fukami piece in Kyoto, a vase whose sleek lines and beautiful glaze fascinated me; four years later, in 1991, I met him for the first time at the wedding of my brother, who married the artist’s niece. We have remained in close contact ever since and in the fall of 2008 I was lucky enough to hold an exhibition of his work at my previous gallery on East 74th Street. With the world on the brink of financial catastrophe, the timing might have seemed challenging, but the exhibition was an extraordinary success, a tribute indeed to the powerful appeal of Fukami’s elegant, inspiring ceramic forms which soar above momentary fashions and crises, transcending past and present.
As exclusive representative of Minol Araki’s estate, Erik Thomsen Gallery is proud and delighted to host a second exhibition of masterpieces by this remarkable artist who combined a successful pub- lic career—as an international industrial designer and producer—with a private passion for painting. In contrast to our 2012 solo show featuring Araki’s landscape compositions, on this occasion we focus on his paintings of fish, fruit, and flowers, mostly dating from the second half of the 1970s, one of his most fertile creative periods.
I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity to present the work of Shigeki Kitani in New York for the very first time. The 33 pieces gathered here cover the full range of this extraordinary art- ist’s early career and in particular his fifteen years of involvement with the Gutai movement, which played such a central role in the development of the postwar Japanese avant-garde. Soon after his graduation in 1952 from a conservative art-college training, Kitani came under the spell of Jirō Yoshi- hara, the charismatic, radical co-founder of the Gutai Art Association. Still only 25 years old, Kitani would not become an official member of Gutai until 1965 but his own artistic grouping at the time, the Osaka Circle of the Free Art Association, had a similar ideology: opposition to conservatism and subservience and a denial of the “deceptions and errors” of existing artistic organizations.
We are delighted to introduce this fifth selection of work by Yamazaki Mushū, one of the finest lacquerers working in Japan today and an artist whose work triumphantly transcends the often contentious divide between “traditional” and “contemporary.” Born the eldest son of a lacquerer, in his late teens he entered the workshop of Nakamura Shūzō to receive instruction in the techniques of Kaga-maki-e, a regional style of lacquer decoration dating back to the time of Maeda Toshitsune (1594 –1658), lord of Kaga Province (present-day Ishikawa Prefecture). Toshitsune, head of the second wealthiest feudal family in all Japan, invited master lacquerer Igarashi Dōho to leave Kyoto, the imperial capital, and settle in his domain, which remains to this day an important center for a range of craft traditions, including not only lacquer but also textile dyeing, metal inlay, and the production of gold leaf, a luxury material that plays a vital role in lacquer decoration.
It is with great pleasure that I present our spring 2014 catalogue, with further selections of outstanding screens, scroll paintings, bamboo baskets, and lacquer wares. Japan’s unrivaled tradition of flower painting is represented by several diverse works, starting with the massed, almost architectural cherry blossoms of a very rare pair of screens from the Momoyama period (1568–1615) depicting the Yoshino hills. This early masterpiece is followed by two contrasting nineteenth-century Rinpa treatments of the four seasons: one celebrates many newer types of blooms that were being cultivated for the first time, while the other portrays a more canonical selection of flowers, depicted in exceptionally rich mineral pigments and crushed shell. Kajino Genzan’s pair of screens, dating from the 1920s, features a vast range of old and new species, rendered in a way that melds the abstraction of the Rinpa style with the naturalism of the Maruyama-Shijō school. A hanging scroll by Hirose Kain—an artist who painted only cherry blossoms—also shows Rinpa influence, combined with a distinctly Chinese flavor absorbed by the artist during his time in the port city of Nagasaki. [...]
I am delighted to present our fall 2013 catalogue, with selections from four of my specialties in the field of Japanese art: screens, scroll paintings, bamboo baskets, and lacquer. All the items presented here are deeply rooted in traditional aesthetics and cultural practices, but several of them are also eloquently expressive of Japan’s long endeavor to assimilate time-honored styles and methods to the growing impact of Western notions of pictorial representation. [...]
Chinese and Japanese influences are the most obvious in his works, from craggy mountain peaks, vistas that extend to far distant horizons, gnarled pine boughs, lily pads floating on the surface of a barely suggested pond, dancing ribbons of roads through mountain passes, nearly abstract fields of snow that have as a counterpoint finely rendered shafts of grass, and a breathtaking interplay between light and shadow.
Yet Araki also adopted moments of art of the West, with bold outlines (Ben Shahn, Charles Burchfield) and the modal format of oil and canvas paintings. In two remarkable works in the collection of the Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hekiba Village and The Four Dragons in the Clouds, Araki extended the format of the Japanese screen to 72 feet in length, spanning 12 panels. Araki was pleased to honor tradition. He was also comfortable expanding the limits of art as we know it.
I feel honored to present Golden Treasures: Japanese Gold Lacquer Boxes, a select collection of 20 Japanese lacquer boxes in an exhibition that opens during New York’s Asia Week 2011. These exquisite works of art date from the Edo period through today and reveal to our eye the endlessly inventive sense of design that characterizes so much of Japanese art.
Uniformity of color and density, conformity and variety of width, regularity of sequence – these are of no consequence to Thomsen, whose paintings evoke not a geometric regularity but the capricious and random arrangements of nature, however imperfectly captured
This publication, our fifth catalog in the series Japanese Paintings and Works of Art, coincides with two other events: our move to a larger gallery location in New York and our inaugural exhibition there, Screens and Scrolls of the Taishō Period.
It has been three years since we introduced the work of Yamazaki Mushū to the West at the 2006 International Asian Art Fair in New York. Since then, his fine aesthetic sense, technical skill, and attention to detail have found wide admiration internationally. This year’s selection, comprising his 10 newest works from 2007 and 2008, shows again his consummate skill in the medium and his continued dedication to making art objects of the highest quality by traditional methods using the finest materials. [...]
I am delighted to present our annual spring catalog, which features selections from my five specialties within Japanese art: screens, paintings, bamboo baskets, ceramics and gold lacquers. All items presented here were made in accordance with Japanese taste and aesthetics and are connected with either domestic artistic traditions or with the important question of how to integrate new Western ideas into Japanese arts.
Two years have passed since we had the privilege of introducing the art of Yamazaki Mushū to the West at the 2006 International Asian Art Fair in New York. Since then, his fine aesthetic sense, technical skill, and attention to detail have found wide admiration internationally. This year’s selection, spanning 13 years of his work from 1995 to 2007, shows his early mastery and illustrates his continued dedication to making art objects of the highest quality by traditional methods using the finest materials. Coming from an area with a long heritage in lacquer art and inspired by earlier artists, Mushū builds on these traditions and adds surprising and innovative details. It is with great pleasure that I present further works by Yamazaki Mushū in this third collection, to be introduced at the 2008 International Asian Art Fair. Erik Thomsen
After our relocation in September 2006 from Germany to New York, this year is marked by another, shorter move from 83rd Street to our new gallery on East 74th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues. We look forward to seeing you at our new and convenient location. I am delighted to present our third catalog, which again features selections from my five specialties within Japanese art: screens, paintings, bamboo baskets, ceramics and lacquers. All items presented here were made, not with export in mind, but rather for the domestic market and in accordance with Japanese taste and aesthetics. Most of the objects are connected with one or more of the four classical arts: the ways of tea, flowers, calligraphy, and incense (Sadō, Kadō, Shodō, and Kōdō). [...]
It is my great pleasure to host a solo exhibition of works by Sueharu Fukami, the most famous Japanese ceramicist working today. Over twenty years ago I found my first Fukami piece in Kyoto, a vase whose sleek lines and beautiful glaze fascinated me (catalog nr. 18). Four years later, in 1991, I met Sueharu Fukami for the first time at the wedding ceremony of my brother, who married the artist’s niece. Since then I have kept in close contact with him, seeing his works in his home as well as at museums, galleries, and private collections, and adding gradually to my collection. This exhibition—the inaugural exhibit at our new gallery location in New York— marks the first time that I show my appreciation publicly. [...]
[...] A year has passed since we had the privilege of introducing the art of Yamazaki Mushū to the West at the 2006 International Asian Art Fair in New York. Since then, his fine aesthetic sense and his attention to detail have found wide admiration internationally. This year's selection, spanning a decade of his work from 1996 to 2006, shows his early mastery and illustrates his continued dedication to making art objects of the highest quality by traditional methods using the finest materials. Coming from an area with a long heritage in lacquer art and inspired by earlier artists, Mushū builds on these traditions and adds surprising and innovative details. [...]
[...] From our new location in New York City I am delighted to present our second catalog, which features a carefully chosen selection from my five specialties within Japanese art: screens, paintings, bamboo baskets, ceramics and lacquers. All items presented here were made, not with export in mind, but rather for the domestic market and in accordance with Japanese taste and aesthetics. Most of the objects are connected with one or more of the four classical arts: the ways of tea, flowers, calligraphy, and incense (Sadō, Kadō, Shodō, and Kō dō ). [...]
It is with great pleasure that I present this inaugural catalog, which includes a selection from my five specialties within classical Japanese art: screens, paintings, bamboo baskets, ceramics and lacquers. Unlike most Japanese art objects seen in the West, all items presented here were made, not with exports in mind, but rather for the Japanese market. Such artwork avoids many of the compromises and alterations in artistic traditions that mark the art made to fit foreign tastes. Instead, we see works of art that were clearly created in line with Japanese aesthetics and traditions. Most of the objects here were made with one or more of the four classical arts in mind: the ways of tea, flowers, calligraphy, and incense (Sadō, Kadō, Shodō, and Kōdō). [...]