Jun Kaneko

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.

Just In: Jun Kaneko Ceramics

July 16, 2012


LAMA has just received six of Kaneko’s earliest ceramics that narrate a period of growing fascination with the form. The bold and playful blues and yellows of the goblets, large bowl, and flat vase (1967) evoke Hans Arp’s amorphous cutouts while the large vase (1965) resembles the mythological characters from Picasso’s ceramics. These looser forms contrast with Kaneko’s larger works of continuous pattern and immense beauty, yet his figural simplicity and painterly strokes foreshadow his later masterpieces.

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