Since World War II, women artists from Japan have made influential contributions to ceramics that have been inadequately acknowledged. This catalogue focuses on thirty-six ceramists who have produced original and technically innovative pieces over the past fifty years while working outside the male-dominated, traditional Japanese studio practice and its countermovements. Both established and emerging artists with diverse styles are presented together to showcase their collective achievements and impact. After embarking on their careers decades ago, Mishima Kimiyo (b. 1932), Tsuboi Asuka (b. 1932), and Ogawa Machiko (b. 1946) continue to produce groundbreaking sculpture that pushes the limits of the clay as a medium. Among the younger artists featured are Konno Tomoko (b. 1965) and Aoki Katsuyo (b. 1972), whose works explore themes ranging from bodily distortion to fantastical decoration. Many of these creators have resisted gendered expectations, whether by approaching traditionally “feminine” subjects like flowers in unconventional ways or by working in so-called masculine modes, including on large scales. All of the selected pieces are from the exemplary private collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, who have advocated strongly to bring these artists to global attention.
Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
(December 16, 2023–June 3, 2024)
John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida
(July 27, 2024–May 11, 2025)
Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(June 13–August 31, 2025)