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"A Palette for Genius: Japanese Water Jars for the Tea Ceremony" opens at Joan B Mirviss LTD
From front to back: Okabe Mineo MINEO (1919-1990), Oribe mizusashi; Oribe-glazed Water Jar, ca. 1960. Glazed stoneware, 6 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 6 1/8 inches. Sakiyama Takayuki (b. 1958), Chōtō; Listening to Waves, 2015. Stoneware with sand glaze, 6 5/8 x 8 1/4 inches. Kato Tokuro (1898-1985), Shino mizusashi; Shino-glazed Water Jar, 1973. Glazed stoneware, 8 3/8 x 8 x 7 5/8 inches.


NEW YORK, NY.- With origins dating back to the 9th century, nothing is quite as inextricably linked within the realm of Japanese ceramics as chanoyu, the tea ceremony. Each ceramic utensil employed is selected with great care and thus, a culture of art has always surrounded this tradition. Therefore, Joan B Mirviss LTD announces the opening of A Palette for Genius: Japanese Water Jars for the Tea Ceremony, coinciding with the start of Asia Week New York 2016, and organized in conjunction with the leading modern ceramic dealer in Japan, Shibuya Kurodatoen Co., LTD. This exhibition juxtaposes ancient traditions with current interpretations of the mizusashi, a lidded water jar used to replenish the brazier, as a testament to the evolution of this timeless tea ceremony utensil.

Usually made of ceramic, the water jar’s entry into the tea room marks the beginning of the formal preparation of tea, and occupies a prominent position throughout the proceedings. Apart from some basic requirements in regard to size and shape, the artist has tremendous freedom to create a vessel that will be visually compelling, yet functional. However, regardless of style, the water jar’s ultimate aim is to offer a profound spiritual experience through the drinking of tea and silent contemplation. Andrew Maske, whose essay is featured in the exhibition’s catalogue, remarks of the show:

This selection of water jars features a stunning display of work by Japan’s most renowned modern and contemporary ceramic artists. Their techniques span the range of traditional, innovative, and original processes that reflect a wide array of aesthetic approaches, from rough and gestural, to refined and exquisite. - Andrew Maske, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Kentucky

For hundreds of years, the tea ceremony has inspired Japanese ceramists to create highly unique utensils, like the water jar, which embody the mantra of tea, ichi-go ichi-e, “for this time only”. This philosophy guides the spirit of this exhibition which presents ceramists with utterly singular styles, such as more traditional masters like Fujimoto N˘d˘ (1919-1992), Ishiguro Munemaro (1893-1968), Kat˘ T˘kur˘ (1898-1985), Kita˘ji Rosanjin (1883-1959), Kiyomizu Rokubei VI (1901-1980), Koyama Fujio (1900-1975), Okabe Mineo (1919-1990), Suzuki Osamu (1926-2001), Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009), and Yagi Kazuo (1918-1979), as well as artists with a contemporary flair such as Fukumoto Fuku (b. 1973), It˘ Hidehito (b.1971), Katsumata Chieko (b.1950), Kawase Shinobu (b.1950), Kond˘ Takahiro (b.1958), Morino Taimei (b.1934), Sakiyama Takiyuki (b.1958), Suzuki Gor˘ (b.1941), and Yagi Akira (b.1955), among others.

Joan B. Mirviss is the leading western dealer in the field of modern and contemporary Japanese ceramics, and from her NY gallery on Madison Ave., Joan B. Mirviss LTD exclusively represents the top Japanese clay artists. As a widely published and highly respected specialist in her field for over thirty-five years, Mirviss has advised and built collections for many museums, major private collectors, and corporations.

Founded in 1969, Shibuya Kuradatoen Co., LTD has been the leading gallery for prominent exhibitions of master ceramists as well as a platform for launching new talents. Its major solo shows have ranged from the works of Rosanjin, Okabe, and Kamoda, to group exhibitions of the masters of the Showa era. Originally located in central Ginza in Tokyo, Kurodat˘en moved to the fashionable Minami Aoyama area in 1969 before opening its current gallery in 1980, in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Joan B. Mirviss LTD is located at 39 East 78th Street in New York and is open Monday through Friday 11am-6pm and by appointment.





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