Japan’s Foremost Female Artists on View in New York

  • OGAWA Machiko
  • FUTAMUURA Yoshimi
  • SAKURAI Yasuko
  • KATSUMATA Chieko
  • NAGASAWA Setsuko
  • Emily Selter

Ceramics and calligraphy—considered Japan’s most significant art mediums—traditionally have been male-dominated art forms, and only recently have women been allowed to pursue these areas of study and apprenticeship. A new exhibit in New York will celebrate the work of five Japanese female ceramists and the country’s leading female calligrapher, who is 99 years old. Their work is being presented from June 5 through August 3 at the Joan B. Mirviss gallery in exhibits entitled “The French Connection: Five Japanese Women Ceramists and a Passion for France” and “Guided by the Brush.”

The French Connection exhibit explores how the women, classically trained in clay in Japan, developed their style through studying in France. In contrast to the strict formality of ceramic tradition in Japan, and women’s usually lowly roles in the craft, the freedom that they found in France helped them hone their technique and led to international recognition, and an evolution of Japanese ceramics.  

In a similar vein, the exhibit Guided by the Brush focuses on the success of another female artist, Shinoda Toko, one of Japan’s most famous Abstract Expressionist artists, who developed new styles in calligraphy and paint. The artist was trained classically in calligraphy, but her move to New York in the 1950s helped her develop a new style, in which she infused traditional techniques with the sense of energy and freedom that she found in America.

Both exhibits show how the female artists rose above the traditional gender restraints of Japanese art, and melded the classical methods they were taught with the less restrictive traditions of the West, becoming more autonomous as artists and creating new and revolutionary styles. (212.799.4021, www.mirviss.com)

From Around the Web...
These writing instruments are still a must-have—even in a digital world…
From Basquiat to Duchamp, Bowie’s incredible art collection goes to auction…
Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden landscape installation will be exhibited at the iconic Connecticut...
The nostalgic allure, rarity, and beauty of these pieces and sets are fueling collectors’ demand…
Photo by Donald Bowers
The enormous rough-cut diamond did not find a winning bidder today…
Two groundbreaking modern paintings sell for high above their original estimates…
Montblanc launches two special edition pens to honor the legendary artwork of Wassily Kandinsky…
The year’s best services for collectors include an L.A. gallery, a summer fair in Seattle, and more…
Modigliani’s Masterpiece Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) will cross the block in London…
The auction house is offering a variety of collectibles from the late comedian’s estate…