Description: Toshiko Takaezu
(American / Japanese, 1922-2011)
ceramic vessel with textured detail
signed under base.
Flake under base at edge visible in photo.
From her obituary in Ask Art: In her stoneware and porcelain works, some small enough to fit in the palm of one hand, others monoliths more than six feet tall, Ms. Takaezu blended the expressive bravura of painters like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline with the calm, meditative quality of traditional Japanese pottery in forms suggestive of acorns, melons or tree trunks.
Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Early in her career she made traditional vessels but in the late 1950s, strongly influenced by the Finnish ceramist Maija Grotell, she embraced the notion of ceramic pieces as artworks meant to be seen rather than used. She closed off the top of her vessels, leaving a vestigial nipple-like opening and creating, in effect, a clay canvas for glazing of all kinds: brushing, dripping, pouring and dipping.
She became known for the squat balls she called moon pots; the vertical "closed forms," which grew sharply in height in the 1990s; and thin ceramic trunks inspired by the scorched trees she had seen along the Devastation Trail in Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park. At times Ms. Takaezu exhibited the moon pots in hammocks, an allusion to her method of drying the pots in nets. She also cast bronze bells and wove rugs.
Strongly influenced by her study of Zen Buddhism, she regarded her ceramic work as an outgrowth of nature and seamlessly interconnected with the rest of her life.
6 1/2"H x 5"Diam
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