Toshiko Takaezu: Inside the Volcano

Globular Closed Form, Ocean Edge Glaze
Globular Closed Form, Ocean Edge glaze, 1980s
Ceramics
Toshiko Takaezu
Gift of Lenore Tawney

An exhibition of works by major American ceramic artist Toshiko Takaezu will welcome visitors to the David Owsley Museum of Art Ball State University this summer. Representing her work from the early 1970s to 2006, each work of art is from the museum’s collection.

Director Peter Blume said the first of Takaezu’s works to enter the collection were three square porcelain plates, purchased in 1972. In 2006, Blume was able to make a sizeable addition to the museum’s collection when he visited the artist at her studio in Quakertown, New Jersey. Blume returned from that visit with eighteen works that complete the museum’s collection to date.

“She has a rather large collection of her art which she is beginning to place in museums that have supported her work,” Blume said of the acquisition. “We were among a number of distinguished American museums that were invited to make a selection from her collection.”

The works are mainly Takaezu’s signature closed-form pots, where the function of the pot is denied by bringing the clay together at the top of the wheel-thrown vessel into a tiny air-hole necessary for the pot to survive the heat of the kiln.

“She is one of the pioneers in this medium, taking it from craft to fine art,” Blume said. “She doesn’t deny the tradition of her craft, as she continues to call her vessels ‘pots,’ but they have no other reason for being except to be exquisitely beautiful.”

Takaezu’s work can be found in numerous collections all over the world, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Artin New York City, the Peabody Museum in Nashville, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Bangkok, Thailand, among others.

Exhibition Date: May 22, 2008 - September 28, 2008