ceramics

SASAYAMA Tadayasu | Shigaraki "Bowl Form and Tea Bowl"

笹山忠保 (1939- )
Shigaraki "Bowl Form and Tea Bowl"  碗のかたちと茶碗, 2013
H5.1” x W5.1” x D5.1”, H13 x W13 x D13cm
Stoneware
Signed Tada 忠 at the bottom

At the forefront of the Japanese avant-garde was the Sodeisha 走泥社 group. In the 1950s, this group liberated ceramics from their utilitarian origins to create innovative but non-functional ceramic art-objects. The artist SASAYAMA Tadayasu笹山忠保 (1939- ) exhibited with the Sodeisha group in 1967. His works embody a simple, quiet stillness that evokes a sense of space not unlike the work of the American Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd. His work’s modular-esqe execution also brings Judd to mind; though these pieces may seem the same, each is in fact carefully handmade. Sasayama’s refined forms elevate traditional clay, pigments, and glazes to sophisticated modernist sculptures whose wood-fired surfaces remain recognizably Shigaraki. Like Judd, Sasayama infuses his material with elemental power, conjuring up nearly spiritual connotations from simple origins. 

 

Acting on advice from American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Sasayama looked to primitive Japanese art to fuel his formal imagination. Noguchi urged the artist to find his true identity as a Japanese artist by studying the history of ceramics and ancient design. This proved very fruitful for the artist, and even now he continues to contemplate Noguchi’s advice. Just last year, Sasayama was invited to hold an exhibition in Korea titled “Primitive/Modern.”

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