We Do Not Work AloneContemporary Japanese Ceramics

June 2 – September 23, 2018

Kino Satoshi (Japanese, b. 1987), Thin ribbon-like curling seihkuji (bluish white)-glazed sculpture, 2016, Bluish white-glazed porcelain, Collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz

The title of this exhibition—We Do Not Work Alone—suggests the complexity of artistic creation. Many factors influence an artist’s production, including natural forces or human ingenuity. Renowned ceramicist Kawai Kanjirō (1890–1966) expands on these collective influences in his essay We Do Not Work Alone, published posthumously in 1973. He noted, “Man can make a bowl of clay…but still it is the fire itself that really completes the bowl.”

During the 20th century, some art movements in Japan began to highlight the individual over mass production and the avant-garde over rusticity. Artists today continue to make bold statements and technological advancements in ceramic work, while also drawing on traditional methods and materials.

The works in this exhibition are generously on loan from the collection the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, one of the finest and most extensive collections of contemporary Japanese ceramics in the United States.