J.B. Blunk at Blum & Poe, Tokyo

The images and text that follow have been found in an article by Cameron Allan McKean, published on http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/j-b-blunk/ on 12th January 2017 (the page was visited on 16th January 2017). The article refers to the first solo exhibition in Japan of the late Californian craftsman and artist James Blain Blunk (1926–2002).

Pottery is place, folded and fired. It is soil, stone, flora, topography, and climate, massaged by human tradition and technique. In Japan, the placeness of ceramics has been taken to an extreme with local variations in style proliferating across the island nation. This sensitivity to place and materials echoes in the work of the late Californian craftsman and artist James Blain Blunk (1926–2002), whose pottery is on display for the first time in Japan since the 1950s. (http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/j-b-blunk/)

Pieces are arranged in roughly chronological order on waist-high, white wooden tables of the kind that might be used by an apprentice potter for wedging clay. These tables form a “T” shape in the center of the gallery. Hung pieces and other works that don’t fit the rhythm of the ceramics on the tables—including a 1990 series of small mezcal cups with faces—look on from the walls. Together they form an unorthodox array of modernist shapes, raw textures, and splotchy glazes that feels unburdened by tradition. The pieces are wide-ranging in their geographical origin, created between Okayama Prefecture and the home Blunk built in Marin County, Northern California.(http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/j-b-blunk/)


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