japan

Jun Kaneko: Dualities in Clay

May 2, 2016

Lot 99, Jun Kaneko, Untitled (Dango) (1999)

The work of ceramic artist Jun Kaneko embodies two distinct sensibilities: there is the spirituality inherent in the ancient pottery traditions of his native Japan, and there are the modernist impulses born of his studies under the masters of the California Clay Movement. Kaneko has preferred oversized formats, which he believes foster a deeper engagement with the viewer. His signature form, a series he calls Dango—Japanese for “dumpling”—can be as large as ten feet tall. Their making requires both patience and virtuosic technical prowess. Kaneko has estimated that only two in ten works survive the laborious building, drying, and firing process without cracking or exploding. Yet when successful, Kaneko realizes some of the most profound work in contemporary art.

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