Details
Shio Kusaka (B. 1972)
(black 13)
stoneware
6.5 x 7 x 7in. (16.5 x 17.8 x 17.8cm.)
Executed in 2012
Provenance
The Modern Institute, Glasgow.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Sale room notice
Please note the title of this work is (black 13) and not as stated in the printed catalogue

Brought to you by

Paola Saracino Fendi
Paola Saracino Fendi

Lot Essay

Christie’s is pleased to present three contemporaneous works by the acclaimed ceramicist Shio Kusaka. Kusaka grew up in Japan, where her grandmother led traditional tea ceremonies, a highly-ritualised presentation involving specific vessels and paraphernalia known as chadogu. ‘After being served, you spend time observing—the cup, the spoon,’ the artist reflected. ‘This taught me to stop and look’ (S. Kusaka quoted in R. Haskell, ‘Artist Shio Kusaka’s Mesmerizing Ceramic Pottery’, Architectural Digest, 1 April 2014, https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/shio-kusaka-ceramics-whitney-biennial-2014). At first, Kusaka finished her ceramics with white or clear glaze but, inspired by Japanese Iron Age ceramics, the paintings of the abstract artist Agnes Martin, and her children’s toys, she began to introduce painted and incised patterns. Despite the diversity of source material, her ceramics are elegantly uncomplicated, and the present works seamlessly marry form and function. Created in 2012, all three are deceptively simple: the two black pieces are richly opaque, while (ink 3) is decorated with Pollock-esque paint that gleams against the white porcelain. Perhaps this graphic sensibility results from her somewhat-collaborative process: married to the artist Jonas Wood, her ceramics are often depicted in his paintings, and from these representations, she forges new work. ‘He puts my pots in his paintings and I copy his versions,’ she has said (S. Kusaka quoted in IBID).

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