As a co-founder of the avant-garde group Sodeisha in the 1940s, Suzuki Osamu was integral to the modernization of Japanese art after World War II. He and his peers were among the early ones who created ceramic sculptures that functioned solely as aesthetic objects rather than functional items, a direction the general Japanese public found quite shocking.
Suzuki admired the terra-cotta work of Isamu Noguchi as well as ancient Chinese grave goods, finding in both of these sources a respect for clay as material that he brought to his own practice. Suzuki's poetic works are influenced by nature, and abstractly depict animals such as birds and horses or atmospheric forces such as wind and clouds. Though he works with traditional themes of nature and traditional materials such as the clear blue celadon glaze seen here, Suzuki's minimalist creations push the boundaries of the ceramic arts.This work, like many of this period, begins with a flattened cube. The horse's four legs and head are affixed to this center in a manner that reveals the artist's process: we see the rough outline of the clay parts, which were obviously made separately and attached to the body. The head turns to look back, elegantly containing the entire creature within the space of its body. This central focus gives the work a monumental quality while still maintaining its minimalist purity. One of the most widely respected potters of the late twentieth century, Suzuki enjoyed a long, prolific, and innovative career. His work can be found in numerous private and public collections, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto organized a large retrospective of his work in 2013. Hagi Urakami Museum just wrapped up an exhibition titled Suzuki Osamu: Image in clay on Dec.23, 2014.
SUZUKI Osamu 鈴木治(1926-2001)
Celadon glazed porcelain
H: 8.25 inches
With signed wood box