Pottery As Canvas
Another artist who takes stylistic cues from the Abstract Expressionists is Koie Ryoji(1938-), a well known potter, here, however, his underlying spirit is fully on display. This small roughly formed jar lacks a clear glaze, allowing the natural texture of the clay to show through. The surface of the jar has been painted in a manner somewhere between the quick splashes of Pollock and the heavier, more methodical brushstrokes of Robert Motherwell.
An artist born in the 1930s, as Koie was, would have come of age just as the Abstract Expressionists were gaining worldwide acclaim, thanks in no small part to the International Program. Though this particular piece was produced in 2000, it remains part of the vibrant East-West dialogue that took place over the second half of the twentieth century. Furthermore, Koie's work incorporates the body in a manner akin to the Abstract Expressionists' gestural, physical brushwork. This awareness of nature and of the body of the artist resonates with the concerns of international modern and post-modern art.
He has also subtly carved his signature into the surface of this vase in towering characters, making himself an integral part of the piece and echoing Pollock's declaration that the artist need not look outside himself for subject matter.
H: 7 " x W: 6" x D: 6.2"