“Hands and Earth: Perspectives on Japanese Contemporary Ceramics,” May 22 — August 15, 2021 at the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia.
Recorded June 2021.
Drawn from the Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz Collection of Japanese Ceramics, “Hands and Earth” features works by some of 20th- and 21st-century Japan’s most important artists. The exhibition traces the history of Japanese ceramics, beginning in the 1930s when the mingei (“folk craft”) movement sparked a newfound appreciation for the utilitarian pottery made by groups of artisans across the country. Today, the artform is simultaneously rooted in history and radically innovative. “Hands and Earth” illuminates how artists balance these often-contradictory impulses. Many of the contemporary ceramicists represented in the exhibition create sculptures that are experimental in both material and method. Inspired by mingei, others fashion functional objects using local clays and techniques passed down through generations. In an increasingly globalized world — and at a time when much of daily life has been relocated to “virtual” space — these works remind us of the enduring importance of place, tradition and community.
Sponsored by the Jeffrey Horvitz Foundation.