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Between and Mortarboard


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Ceramic Sculpture

Accession Number
1963/2.73

Title
Ceramic Sculpture

Artist(s)
Yagi Kazuo

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1958

Medium & Support
stoneware

Dimensions
7 1/2 in. x 32 1/16 in. x 2 9/16 in. ( 19 cm x 81.5 cm x 6.5 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Yagi Kazuo
Japan, 1918–1979
Ceramic sculpture
Showa period (1926–1989)
circa 1958
Stoneware
Museum purchase, 1963/2.73
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Yagi Kazuo was the central figure of the avant-garde ceramist group Sôdeisha (Crawling Through Mud Association). This group fearlessly questioned orthodox techniques and materials—such as the use of potter’s wheels and the standard application of glazes—to explore new possibilities in ceramic art. Yagi’s nonfunctional ceramic work was, in turn, a profound inspiration to later generations of Japanese clay artists.
To create the unusual surface seen here, Yagi first made small, thin strips of clay that were then wrinkled by his wife, the textile artist Takagi Toshiko (1924–1987). Next he built two walls by compressing these coils. Once the form was finished, he used a board to flatten the surface areas. The contrast of the smooth walls and intestine-like inner texture contributes to the impact of this work.
(Turning Point exhibition, Spring 2010)
In the immediate post-World War II period, Yagi Kazuo was the central figure of the avant-garde ceramist group, Sôdeisha (Crawling through Mud Association). This group fearlessly questioned orthodox techniques and materials—such as the use of potter’s wheels and the application of glazes—to explore new possibilities in ceramic art. Yagi’s nonfunctional ceramic work was a profound inspiration to later generations of Japanese clay artists.
To create the unusual surface of this work, Yagi first made small, thin strips of clay that were then wrinkled by his wife, the textile artist Takagi Toshiko (1924–1987). Yagi then built two walls by compressing these coils within the contours. Once the form was finished, he used a board to flatten the surface areas. The contrast of the smooth walls and intestine-like inner texture contributes to the impact of this work.
(Label for UMMA Japanese Gallery Opening Rotation, March 2009)
---
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Yagi Kazuo was the central figure of the avant-garde ceramist group Sôdeisha (Crawling Through Mud Association). This group fearlessly questioned orthodox techniques and materials—such as the use of potter’s wheels and the standard application of glazes—to explore new possibilities in ceramic art. Yagi’s nonfunctional ceramic work was, in turn, a profound inspiration to later generations of Japanese clay artists.
To create the unusual surface seen here, Yagi first made small, thin strips of clay that were then wrinkled by his wife, the textile artist Takagi Toshiko (1924–1987). Next he built two walls by compressing these coils. Once the form was finished, he used a board to flatten the surface areas. The contrast of the smooth walls and intestine-like inner texture contributes to the impact of this work.
(Turning Point exhibition, Spring 2010)

Subject matter
This is an abstract, ceramic sculpture, not for practical use.

Physical Description
It is a long, rectangular unglazed ceramic piece, intended to be shown in horizontal position. Two thick slabs are connected with bridges inside. The front part has almost flat surface; there is a deep cut on the left side, in which mass of worm-like inner surface can be seen. The same surface is revealed in the middle, as well as on the right edge. The top of the slab has a several shallow holes and one deep cut, inside of which has worm-like surface, as explained above. There is also a dent on the top and on the right, from which worm-like mass seems to be coming out. Reddish shadows cast on left side, in the middle, and the right. There is a patch of clay on left side near the left cut. The bottom is flat.

Primary Object Classification
Ceramic

Primary Object Type
abstract sculpture

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
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Keywords
ceramics (object genre)

& Author Notes

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