Tacoma Art Museum presents a twenty-five-year mid-career survey of one of the country’s leading ceramic artists, Akio Takamori, in Between Clouds of Memory: The Ceramic Art of Akio Takamori. On view June 10 through October 8, 2006, the exhibition is the first overview of his career, and the catalogue includes essays by Peter Held, Edward Lebow, and Toyojiro Hida.
An internationally respected artist and professor at the University of Washington, Takamori blends aspects of traditional Japanese art, such as black-line drawing reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints and calligraphy, with his large-scale figurative ceramic sculptures. His interest in the human form has evolved into free-standing figures-some modeled after people he knows, others after figures from art history and historical events.
“Takamori’s work has redefined ceramics through his powerful vision and technical brilliance,” said Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art Rock Hushka. “His art melds a deep respect for the history and tradition of ceramics with witty and profound observations on contemporary life.”
Takamori studied at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo and later apprenticed with a master folk potter at Koishiwara, Kyushu. While learning the craft of industrial ceramics in a factory setting, Takamori began to question his future as an industrial potter. He traveled to the United States and studied with ceramicist Ken Ferguson at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1976. He received a master’s degree from Alfred University in Alfred, New York, in 1978, and returned to Japan until 1985. He moved to the Seattle area in 1987 and began teaching ceramics at the University of Washington the following year. He accepted a faculty position at the University of Washington in 1993, where he is now a Professor in the School of Art.
Takamori is a recipient of two Fellowships from the European Ceramic Work Centre ‚Äòs-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (1993, 1996), the Flintridge Foundation Visual Artists Award (2004), and three Visual Artists Fellowship Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1986, 1988, 1992). His work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in major collections around the world, including Tacoma Art Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Kruithuis Museum in ‚Äòs-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.
Between Clouds of Memory: The Ceramic Art of Akio Takamori is organized by the Arizona State University Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center, Tempe, Arizona, and curated by Peter Held. Local support is provided by The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
* Takamori at the University of Washington School of Art
* Takamori at the Arizona State University Art Museum
* Arizona State University Ceramics Research Center
Tacoma Art Museum connects people and builds community through art. The museum serves the diverse communities of the region through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. The museum’s five galleries display an array of top national shows, the best of Northwest art, creatively themed exhibitions, and historical retrospectives. In addition, there is an Education Wing for children, adults, and seniors with an art resource center, classroom, and studio for art making. Tacoma Art Museum is located in Tacoma’s Museum District, near the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, and historic Union Station.