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Everyone has an image in their mind of a bird. Close your eyes and conjure yours; really think about it. Maybe take a piece of paper and draw it. Each person's bird will come out unique, and that is the wonderful thing about abstract art.

Here, our friend Suzuki Osamu gives us his image of a bird. According to the title, this is a baby bird, a chick just hatched and waiting for his mother to return with a meal. His wings are small and thin, too delicate for flight. This baby bird's body is tilted slightly to the right, its right cheek sucked in. Perhaps he is breathing in to call for his mother.


This cute, lovable bird comes ten years into Suzuki Osamu's series of animal forms. His minimalist creations push the boundaries of the ceramic arts by exploring the line between sculptural abstraction and figuration. This work, like many of this period, began with a cube. The extended foot and tiny feathers on both sides clearly reveal the artist's process: we see a rough outline of the clay parts that have been made separately and attached to the core rectangular body of the piece. 
Suzuki began his animal sculptures in 1965 with a series of abstracted horses, in which he sought to achieve a pure expression of form in clay. In these works, he never intended to depict a real horse, nor did he begin with the picture of a horse and abstract from life. Rather, he assembled or arranged his own personal image of a horse, eventually fixing it in the real world through the medium of clay. His stated goal was to "symbolize rather than abstract."

And so, with this work Osamu has delicately and ingeniously symbolized, rather than abstracted, the form of a bird. His pure porcelain is unexpectedly textured, its bumpy surface counter to the normal smooth sheen that has come to be expected from porcelain material. This conveys a distinct organic quality that speaks to the artist's idea of porcelain as an additive form, one that grows, rather than a subtractive process. This painstaking additive process is difficult and time consuming, proving once again Osamu's consummate craftsmanship in his pursuit of beauty and purity of soul.

Suzuki Osamu- BIRD 鈴木治(1926-2001)
鳥の子 Baby Bird, 1976
H11.7" x W4.5" x D5.2", H29.7x W11.6 x D13.4cm
With Signed Wood Box
Signed Su す on lower middle back
Published by Kodasha P.p 128

Bird 青白磁 鳥
H5.4" x W5.9" x D4.4", H13.8 x W15 x D11.2cm
Porcelain
Signed Su す at the back
With Signed Wood Box