Kazuo Kadonaga included in Collection Exhibition 2019 I at Toyama Glass Art Museum

Kadonaga Kazuo, Glass No.4 B, 1997, Collection of Toyama Glass Art Museum

Toyama Glass Art Museum collects and exhibits Japanese and overseas contemporary glass art, with an emphasis on works produced since the 1950s. In Collection Exhibition 2019-I, we present works from the museum’s collection, including pieces newly added this year, thematically organized under the two titles “Changing Scenes”and “Feature Exhibit: Czech Artists.”

1. Changing Scenes

Glass is melted until it becomes soft by heating it to temperatures so hot it cannot be touched with the hands directly, and then hardened again by cooling it. For some artists, these changes in the material itself and the forms that appear by accident amid these changes are important components of their expression. As well, because it transmits and reflects light, glass takes on various appearances depending on its surroundings and on the angle from which it is viewed. Combined with the expression of the individual artists, these characteristics also give rise to works that bring about changes in our perceptions of the objects and scenes around us. Here, with “changes” as a key word, we explore the relationship between the characteristics of glass as a material and the expression of the artists concerned.

2. Feature Exhibit: Czech Artists

In the Czech Republic, a major glass-producing region since the Middle Ages, there are many contemporary artistsmaking works using glass. In this feature exhibit, we present works by a number of Czech artists, including Stanislav LIBENSK. & Jaroslava BRYCHTOVÁ, who have had an enormous influence on contemporary glass art around the world. We hope you will enjoy thehighly creative and vigorous work of these Czech artists who, while devoting themselves to their own practices, have continued to develop new expression amidExhibition t itle: Collection Exhibition 2019 I

Collection Exhibition 2019-I
Toyama Glass Art Museum
Period: June 22 - December 1, 2019



Kentaro Kawabata curated “±8 — A Group Exhibition of Contemporary Ceramics”

Kazuhito Kawai, “Suidobata", 2019, ceramic, 23 x 24 x 23 cm ©Kazuhito Kawai

Dates: July 12 – September 8, 2019
Location: SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, Hong Kong
Opening Reception: July 12, 6-8pm

Presenting works by: Kentaro Kawabata, Kazuhito Kawai, Tony Marsh, Keita Matsunaga, Akio Niisato, William J. O’Brien, Sterling Ruby, Kouzo Takeuchi

SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce “±8”, an exhibition featuring eight Japanese and American artists who work with ceramics. Curated by Kentaro Kawabata, a Japanese ceramist of the emerging generation, this group exhibition introduces up to date development of ceramic as sculptural medium from an artist’s perspective, a position that is closest to the current of representation.

Although ±8 may appear like a simple symbol, it can in fact be interpreted in various ways. For example, when slightly shifted, ± can look like the Kanji character “土” which stands for “earth” or “soil.” When artists each engage in producing work, I believe that those who create through means of addition is able to convey their distinct characteristic the moment they subtract something or another, and conversely, the distinct characteristic of those who create through a process of subtraction, indeed comes to manifest when incorporating additional elements. I decided to include this in the title as I recognized the importance and necessity of this internal contemplation surrounding ±. The ‘8’ not only refers to the number of artists who are featured in the exhibition, but also takes into account the fact of it being considered a lucky number in Hong Kong. Furthermore, ‘8’ comprises of ‘0’ and ‘0’, and when placed on its side represents infinity. Instead of ±0 that is familiar to many, I felt that ±8, conceived by simply adding another ‘0’, was interesting to have as the title.

By Kentaro Kawabata

Often inspired by nature’s self-generation and renewal, the forms of Kentaro Kawabata’s works, such as the meandering rims created through the busy workings of the thumb and index finger, encompass a sense of vitality –instilling the pieces with a sense of organic vitality. Kawabata likes to experiment and observe the outcome of combining various materials with glaze after firing the ceramics. Blending with glass to create a watercolor-like clarity, and applying silver then onsen (Japanese hot spring) to make volcanic-like objects; Kawabata’s ceramics give the impression of breathing agglomerated landscapes.

As an artist trained with knowledge and understanding of western contemporary art, Kazuhito Kawai’s encounter with ceramics upon his return to Japan has largely inspired his openness of creativity. Kawai’s works with their dynamic colors and forms convey the irregularity, ugliness, grotesqueness and vulnerability, which clay embodies. The repeated collages of clay attached to the vessel reflect a dialog between the clay and the artist, also presenting a layered representation of the artist’s inner self and state of mind.

For over 30 years, Tony Marsh has devoted his artistic practice to the exploration of ceramic vessels. In Marsh’s early work, the vessel was an arena within which he explored themes of fertility, union, death and creation by arranging evocative symbolic abstract forms within the interiors of carefully designed prototypical vessel forms. In a subsequent body of work that evolved over 15 years, Marsh created an endless array of thin-walled, hollow, abstract shapes and perforated them as densely as possible in an effort to replace the mass with light and dematerialize form, rendering the work as ethereal. The recent body of work “Crucible” are ceramic cylinders in which resides real and imagined allusions to physical sciences, earth formation, geographic phenomenon, force, pyroclastic work, time and landscape. They are transformed from the artist’s curiosity and stimulated innovation which was originated from the observation of phenomenon during the process.

Keita Matsunaga’s works, both functional ware and sculpture, derive from the same process. First, he sketches the geometric form using CAD software. The clay, strongly pressed by the artist against the surface of the plaster mold, extends, curves and forms hemisphere shape shells. The rawness and roughness of clay confront the structured architectural form –the contrast serving to reflect Matsunaga’s originality. His representative series, “Monuke” (meaning “empty shell from molting” in Japanese) comprise of two hemispheres combined, leaving the inside empty. This emptiness conveys lonesomeness and hollowness, while also representing the spiritual state of deliverance.

Akio Niisato’s representative work “Luminescent” consists of vessels created by making perforations in translucent white porcelain, and filling each of the holes with clear glaze before firing. The works which give the impression of emitting light in themselves are conceived through independently developing the Chinese technique of ‘hotarude,’ which enable translucent patterns to emerge when it carries the light, with their luminescent appearance likened to a firefly. In addition to this technique that attempts to explore ways of vessels that transcend contexts of the everyday, in recent years he has engaged in producing works that while rooted in tradition, give form to the natural traces that are born out of the dialogue between the materials and his own body.

William J. O’Brien explores the potential of a diverse range of media including paper, clay, textiles, ceramics, steel, found objects and everyday materials. While O’Brien is best known for his ceramic sculptures, he begins his work by drawing. The colorful geometric patterns in his drawings are made through a process similar to Surrealist automatic writing techniques and evoke various U.S. visual cultures such as those related to psychedelia, op art, abstract expressionist painting, and architecture. The playful ceramic works, which are adorned with bright glazes, refer to a broad range of cultural elements such as ethnography, traditional crafts, poetry, pop and psychedelic cultures, and gay minimalism.

Sterling Ruby is an artist who appropriates diverse aesthetic strategies in his practice, from saturated, glossy, poured polyurethane sculptures, to drawings, collages, richly glazed ceramics, graffiti inspired spray paint paintings, and video. His work is a balancing act, maintaining a constant tension between a multitude of elements. Dealing with issues related to the violence and pressures within society and art history, Ruby’s creations also reflect his personal history. In all of his work, he vacillates between the fluid and static, the minimalist and expressionistic, the pristine and the defaced.

Inspired by photos of ancient ruins in South America, Kouzo Takeuchi started creating ceramic sculptures formed of square tubes to express the unique ambience of decayed structures. The unexpected breaking of one work eventually led to the birth of the artist’s renowned “Modern Remains” Series in 2006, in which he engaged in breaking other finished tubes with a hammer to create dynamic beauty and raise new aesthetic values in ceramics. Through methods such as breaking and removing sections of materials before the firing process, Takeuchi persists in searching for the perfect balance between original forms and their deterioration in his experimental geometric works.

Artist Biographies

Kentaro Kawabata was born 1976 in Saitama and currently lives and works in Gifu. After graduating from the Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center in 2000, Kawabata began winning awards for his work, including the Kamoda Shoji Award at the Mashiko Pottery Exhibition (2004) and the Paramita Museum Ceramic Award (2007). His work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions at highly-reputed ceramic institutions, including “The Power of Decoration: A Viewpoint on Contemporary Kogei (Studio Crafts)” at the National Museum of Modern Art’s Crafts Gallery (2009), “Phenomenon of Contemporary Ceramic” at the Ibaraki Ceramic Art Museum (2014), and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art, Gifu (2004, 2010).

Kazuhito Kawai was born 1984 in Ibaraki. He graduated from the Fine Art Department at Chelsea College of Arts, University Arts London in 2007 and completed his studies at Kasama College of Ceramic Art, Ibaraki in 2018. He currently lives and works in Kasama, Ibaraki. Kawai held his solo exhibition at House in Kasama, Ibaraki in 2017.

Tony Marsh was born in New York City in 1954 and lives and works in Long Beach, California. He spent 3 years in Mashiko, Japan at the workshop of Tatsuzo Shimaoka from 1978 to 1981. He teaches in the Ceramic Arts Program at California State University Long Beach in Southern California, where he served as the Program Chair for over 20 years. He is currently the first Director of the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at CSULB. Marsh has exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. His works are housed in the Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mad Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Everson Museum, Syracuse, the Oakland Museum of Art, Gardiner Museum of Art, Toronto, Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

Keita Matsunaga was born 1986 in Tajimi, Gifu. After graduating from the Architecture course at Meijou University in 2010, he began his studies at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center and later continued his studies at Kanazawa Utastuyama Kogei Kobo. Matsunaga currently lives and works in Tajimi and Kani, Gifu. Matsunaga has participated in group exhibitions at Taina Art Museum (2019) and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2017). Matsunaga’s work is included in public collection of the Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo.

Akio Niisato was born in 1977 in Chiba. After withdrawing from his studies at the Philosophy Department, School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Waseda University, he went on to study at the Tajimi City Ceramic and Design Center where he received his Diploma in 2001. His selected awards include the Award for New Artist, Premio Faenza 54th Edition (2005, Italy); Grand Prize, Paramita Museum Ceramic Competition (2008); Jury’s Special Award, International Ceramics Festival MINO; Incentive Award, Kikuchi Biennale (Tokyo, 2009); and Award for New Artist, MOA Mokichi Okada Award (Tokyo, 2014). He continues to receive high acclaim for his works, with participation in numerous exhibitions both in Japan and overseas including the United States, Italy and Romania.

Born 1975 in Ohio, William J. O’Brien is an artist who currently lives and works in Chicago. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2005). His major solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2014), The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2012) and the Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago (2011). O’Brien has received awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation (2011), and Artadia: The Fund for Art & Dialogue (2007). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Clinic; Miami Art Museum; and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Born in 1972, Sterling Ruby lives and works in Los Angeles. Ruby’s solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims (2012), travelling to Centre D’Art Contemporain, Geneva (2012) and to Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2013), Winterpalais, Belvedere Museum, Vienna (2016), De Moines Art Center, Des Moines (2018) and Nasher Sculpture Center (2019). His works are included in the collections of Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm among others.

Kouzo Takeuchi was born 1977 in Hyogo Prefecture. After graduating from Osaka University of Arts in 2001, he continued his studies at Tajimi City Pottery Design and Technical Center, Gifu. Takeuchi has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at highly-reputed institutions, including The 13th Paramita Ceramic Grand Prize Exhibition (Paramita Museum, Mie, 2018); Syuen Museum, Taipei (2016); “La Ceramique Japonaise” (Espace Culturel Bertin Poiree, Paris and Galerie IAC Berlin, Konigswinter in 2014 and 2013); “Contact 4: Japan – Korea Ceramic Exhibition” (The Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, 2005). His works can be found in the public collections of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Sernuchi Museum, Paris; The Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo; INAX Tile Museum, Aichi; and Louis Vuitton, Japan.


SHOP Taka Ishii Gallery, opened by Taka Ishii Gallery in Tokyo is a new concept-based retail shop in Starstreet Precinct, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The SHOP aims to create an experimental retail space that transcends the boundary between “gallery” and “shop” by inviting different artists and designers to freely explore the spatial design and exhibit selected works and other products in approximately three-month cycles.

Taka Ishii Gallery opened in 1994 and for approximately a quarter century since, it has represented Japan’s most important photographers including Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama, and Naoya Hatakeyama, painters, conceptual artists, and up-and-coming artists. The gallery was also one of the first in Japan to look abroad and regularly participate in foreign art fairs such as Art Basel and the Frieze Art Fair, playing an important role in establishing the reputations of its artists abroad. At the same time, it has organized exhibitions of works by highly acclaimed foreign artists such as Thomas Demand, Dan Graham, Sterling Ruby, Cerith Wyn Evans and young foreign artists on the rise, proactively introducing trends in Euro-American contemporary to Japan. In February 2011, Taka Ishii Gallery Photography/Film, specializing in photographic works, opened. Gallery founder Takayuki Ishii also established the Fine Art Photography Association in May 2014 to help the further development of the Japanese photography scene, which has a unique context.


Kazuo Kadonaga included in “Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections” at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

Kazuo Kadonaga, Glass No. 4 L, 1999, Glass. (1477 lbs. / 670 kg.), 24-1/4 x 39 x 39 inches, 62 x 99 x 99 cm

Tandem exhibitions offer a rare presentation of sculpture from two of Dallas’s most renowned collections.

In celebration of the Nasher Sculpture Center opening in 2003, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky, Dallas-based patrons and collectors of art made after 1945, mounted an installation of sculpture at The Rachofsky House—a space that for many years served as both a private residence and a semi-public place to view works from their collection. The Rachofsky’s installation, titled Thinking About Sculpture, complemented the Nasher opening by exploring how definitions and methods of sculpture-making evolved in the postwar years. Between the two spaces, the collections presented over 125 years of sculpture in all of its various forms, from works by such modern artists as Paul Gauguin, Auguste Rodin, or Medardo Rosso at the Nasher to those by contemporary living artists, including Janine Antoni, Maurizio Cattelan, and Marc Quinn, at The Rachofsky House.

Reprising and expanding on that pivotal year for sculpture in Dallas, Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher and Rachofsky Collections features two Dallas collections in dialogue throughout the Nasher galleries. Presented side-by-side, works in each collection illustrate how artists continually seek out new ways to interpret, investigate, and redefine traditional notions of sculpture. In the Entrance Gallery, Mario Merz’s haystack and neon sculpture faces Claes Oldenburg’s oversized stainless steel and aluminum typewriter eraser, juxtaposing Arte Povera and Pop art and the ways these two contemporaries approached similar ideas of outmoded technology and everyday objects through strikingly di ferent materials. Selections in Gallery I, the Foyer Gallery, and Corner Gallery emphasize formal, material, and conceptual relationships among works by such artists as Sol LeWitt and Lee Ufan, whose sculptures reveal a shared interest in the exploration and activation of space; Alexander Calder and Atsuko Tanaka, who each revolutionized how we think about line in space; and Martin Puryear and Anne Truitt, with their painted wood sculptures that mimic, and at the same time humanize, Minimalist sculpture. The pairing of these two Dallas collections offers a true celebration of the creative, energizing spirit of sculpture in its diverse formal and thematic investigations.

Continuing the collaboration with The Rachofsky Collection, selections from the Nasher Collection are also on view at The Warehouse—the Rachofsky’s exhibition space located in North Dallas. The companion presentation, titled The Sensation of Space, expands upon ideas set forth here. Public tours of The Warehouse will occur on a monthly basis, providing visitors to the Nasher the opportunity to make connections and continue the dialogue between the Nasher and Rachofsky Collection works distributed between the two institutions. Information about this related exhibition is available at the Admission Desks. 

Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher and Rachofsky Collections is co-organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center in partnership with The Warehouse, Dallas. Major support for the exhibition is provided by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. 

© Photo: Kevin Todora courtesy Nasher Sculpture Center.

“Pairings: Sculpture in the Nasher & Rachofsky Collections”
May 11, 2019 - August 18, 2019
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas


Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco

Tadaaki Kuwayama, Untitled, 1971, acrylic on canvas with aluminum, 12 panels

Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito

at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery, San Francisco
in collaboration with Nonaka-Hill

June 28 - August 17, 2019

Nonaka-Hill is pleased to announce Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito, an exhibition at Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery in San Francisco. The co-organized show features works by two groundbreaking Japanese artists. Kuwayama and Naito moved to New York as a young couple in 1958, as Abstract Expressionism’s influence began to wane. Invigorated by debates animating the New York scene, they became formative figures in the development of Minimalism.

Working alongside colleagues like Donald Judd, Frank Stella, and Dan Flavin, Kuwayama began experimenting with monochromatic painting in the early 1960s. His works appeared in solo shows at the Green Gallery in 1961 and 1962 and three years later in Lawrence Alloway’s famous Systemic Paintingexhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Since then, Kuwayama has perfected a unique surface for his multi-panel works made with paint and aluminum and created transformative installations with serial forms in various metals and unconventional colors.

Soon after settling in New York, Naito began investigating the nature and limits of visual experiences in paintings that deconstruct perspectival systems and master the vibrational effects associated with contemporaries like Bridget Riley and Josef Albers. More recently, she has turned to photocollages and monochromatic sculptures made with Japanese paper. Both bodies of work evoke the natural world even as they appeal to a very human desire for precision, regularity, and repetition.

Bridging six decades of work, Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito offers a glimpse into the richness of these artists’ long careers, celebrating their converging interests in geometry, texture, and serial form as well as the ways their respective practices have diverged over time.

Works by Tadaaki Kuwayama are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. Rakuko Naito's work is in the collections of the Aldrich Museum, Connecticut; the Kemper Art Collection, Chicago; and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Buenos Aires.

Rakuko Naito, Untitled, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 52 x 52 inches

Rakuko Naito in the studio, 1965

Tadaaki Kuwayama in the studio, 1960s; photo by Paul Katz

Adrian Rosenfeld Gallery
1150 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 10AM-6PM and Saturdays 11AM-5PM.
The exhibition will be on view from Friday, June 28 through Saturday, August 17, 2019.


Kazuo Kadonaga included in “WITH US IN THE NATURE” at Kröller-Müller Museum

Kazuo Kadonaga included in “WITH US IN THE NATURE” at Kröller-Müller Museum, The Netherlands (Feb 16, 2019 - May 9, 2019).

Gilbert & George’s “‘The Paintings’ (With Us in the Nature)” from 1971 is on view at Kröller-Müller Museum, The Netherlands, exhibited with seven sculptures from the collection in which the complex relationship between humans and nature is expressed in different ways. The sculptures are by Kazuo Kadonaga, Giuseppe Penone, Nicholas Pope, Bill Woodrow. “With their attempt to recreate a lost feeling, the G&G simultaneously expose the emptiness of the idea of nature as an unspoilt paradise: the landscape in which they sit, stand or stroll around is just as much made by human hands as the church, the fences and the brick walls that are visible in the landscape.”

Kadonaga’s commercially forested wood works uphold and upend notions of purity through the artist’s interventions with the materials.  His “Wood No. 5R”, 1978 was sliced lengthwise into hundreds of veneer-thin layers and reassembled.  Kadonaga’s “Wood No. 11M” was scored geometrically on one end and hit with a mallet, resulting in lengthwise expressions of the impact and a transformation of the original geometric scores on the log’s opposite end.

Images: Gilbert & George, "The Paintings" (with Us in the Nature), 1971 - detail; Giuseppe Penone, Sentiero, 1983-1984; Kazuo Kadonaga, Wood No. 5 R, 1978 / Wood No. 11 M, 1981; Nicholas Pope

© Kröller-Müller Museum, photo Marjon Gemmeke