Toshiko Takaezu from Private Collections: The Memorial Exhibition

Toshiko Takaezu has been an extraordinary friend to us at LongHouse. Although we mourn her loss, we celebrate her life during this, our 20th Anniversary season, by showcasing her work on loan from private collections. Acknowledged by Jack Lenor Larsen as “an unequalled American potter” we celebrate the life and craft of this extraordinary woman. This major exhibition is complemented by the publication of The Art of Toshiko Takaezu: In the Language of Silence. Edited by Peter Held, curator of ceramics at the Ceramics Research Center, Arizona State University, with the foreword by Jack Larsen, essays by Paul Smith, director emeritus of the American Craft Museum, and Janet Koplos, former senior editor of Art in America, this illustrated tribute provides the first scholarly analysis of Takaezu’s work. It will be available for purchase throughout the show.

Born in Hawaii of Japanese descent in 1922, Toshiko Takaezu worked actively in clay, fiber, and bronze for more than six decades. Influenced by midcentury modernism, her work transformed from functional vessels to abstract sculptural forms and installations. Over the years, she continued to draw on a combination of Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics. Takaezu’s vertical closed objects became the symbol of her work. Created through a combination of wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques allowing her to grow her vessels vertically, they eased the circular restrictions of the wheel. In addition to her art, Takaezu was renowned for her teaching, including twenty years at Princeton University.

Displayed in the Pavilion and installed throughout the grounds, we acknowledge the generosity of Louis and Sandra Grotta, Barry and Irene Fisher, Jane and Leonard Korman, Forrest L. Merrill, John Mosler, and the Lenore Tawney Foundation, whose private collections of Takaezu’s work are on loan at LongHouse.

On view thru July 9, 2011