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Tanaka Yu Fukuromono Press 300ppi 3000px Srgb Jpeg Tanaka Yu Fukuromono Press 300ppi 3000px Srgb Jpeg

Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan



November 16, 2023

Tanaka Yu Fukuromono Press 300ppi 3000px Srgb Jpeg

Tanaka Yu 田中悠. Bag Work (フクロモノ), 2018. Carol & Jeffrey Horvitz Collection of Contemporary Japanese Ceramics.

CHICAGO—The Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to announce Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan on view from December 16, 2023 through June 3, 2024. The exhibition will feature 40 stunning works by 36 different women artists from across Japan, showcasing the inventiveness and variety of work that is driving the ceramics movement forward.

While women have historically been underrecognized for their contributions to the ceramics field, this show brings both established and emerging women artists to the forefront and focuses on the explosion of innovative and technically ambitious compositions by such artists particularly since 1970.

“There are so many strong contemporary women artists from Japan that are truly pushing the limits in ceramics and clay beyond what we’ve ever seen traditionally,” said Janice Katz, Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of Japanese Art, the Art Institute of Chicago. “This show brings together artists on the cutting edge of invention in terms of materials, glaze, and technique, and we are thrilled to recognize their contributions to the global ceramics field.”

The creators featured in the show span several generations of women contemporary artists, and while they have been featured in other shows, this is the first major exhibition to position these artists together to highlight their collective achievements and impact. Three artists featured in the show–Mishima Kimiyo (born 1932), Tsuboi Asuka (born 1932), and Ogawa Machiko (born 1946)–began their careers decades ago and continue to produce groundbreaking sculptures that drive the clay medium in a new direction. Konno Tomoko (born 1965), Aoki Katsuyo (born 1972), and Oishi Sayaka (born 1979) are part of younger generations and are represented by pieces featuring bodily distortion to fantastical decoration. These women have routinely confronted expectations about their practice and often refuse gender-imposed constraints in their work, approaching subjects in unconventional ways.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog with essays and insights by Janice Katz, Joe Earle, and Hollis Goodall. Additionally, bringing these artists to global attention has been made possible by the generous collaboration with Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, who shared all of the selected pieces in the show from their exemplary collection.

Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan is curated by the Art Institute of Chicago’s Janice Katz


Lead support for Radical Clay: Contemporary Women Artists from Japan is generously provided by Carol & Jeffrey Horvitz.

Additional support is contributed by the Japan Foundation.


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