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The Art of Toshiko Takaezu: In the Language of Silence
     

The Art of Toshiko Takaezu: In the Language of Silence

by Peter Held
 

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Tracing the artistic development of renowned potter Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011), this masterful study celebrates and analyzes an artist who held a significant place in the post-World War II craft movement in America.

Born in Hawaii of Japanese descent in 1922, Takaezu worked actively in clay, fiber, and bronze for over sixty years. Influenced by midcentury

Overview

Tracing the artistic development of renowned potter Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011), this masterful study celebrates and analyzes an artist who held a significant place in the post-World War II craft movement in America.

Born in Hawaii of Japanese descent in 1922, Takaezu worked actively in clay, fiber, and bronze for over sixty years. Influenced by midcentury modernism, her work transformed from functional vessels to abstract sculptural forms and installations. Over the years, continued to draw on a combination of Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics, as well as her love of the natural world. In particular, Takaezu's vertical closed forms became a symbol of her work, created through a combination of wheel-throwing and hand-building techniques that allowed her to grow her vessels vertically and eased the circular restrictions of the wheel. In addition to her art, Takaezu was renowned for her teaching, including twenty years at Princeton University.

This beautifully illustrated book offers the first scholarly analysis of Takaezu's life work and includes essays by Paul Smith, director emeritus of the American Craft Museum, and Janet Koplos, former senior editor of Art in America. Jack Lenor Larsen, a textile designer, author, collector, and advocate of traditional and contemporary craftsmanship, provides a foreword.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
For anyone who understands art as a journey, who has ever been, in Takaezu's words, "interested in what would happen," this is a book worth reading—International Sculpture Center Book Reviews

Library Journal
Toshiko Takaezu died in March, but her work lives on in this elegant book. Born in 1922 in Hawaii to parents from Okinawa, she started her love affair with ceramics at the University of Hawaii. After studying and teaching at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, she spent 25 years teaching ceramics at Princeton before creating a body of very large clay sculptures at Skidmore College. She had exhibited widely and met nearly all of the world's most famous clay artists in the decades between 1960 and 2000, but she always remained a quiet and somewhat private person, hence the subtitle. Her most characteristic pieces are glazed hollow stoneware forms with no opening and often a loose piece of fired clay inside, which creates a mysterious rattle. These examples and others are beautifully photographed and printed, accompanied by a 20-page reflection on her life and art by critic Janet Koplos; a useful, year-by-year chronology of her life; and a two-page tribute by her friend and neighbor Jeff Schlanger. VERDICT This is essential for readers interested in ceramics, sculpture, and women artists.—David McClelland, Philadelphia

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807834824
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
04/15/2011
Edition description:
1
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
This book is an important addition to writings on Toshiko Takaezu, her life and her work. Held succeeds in combining personal accounts and anecdote with scholarly analysis of her works and their significance to the arts. From the quiet interiors of her vessels to the chiming of her bronze bells, the essays and the images reveal her reverence, her passion, her discipline, and her drive.—Elaine Olafson Henry, editor and publisher, Ceramics: Art and Perception and Ceramics: TECHNICAL

Meet the Author

Peter Held is curator of ceramics at the Ceramics Research Center, part of the Arizona State University Art Museum.

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