July 15, 2021—August 31, 2021 | Online Exhibtion
James Harris Gallery is pleased to present an extraordinary group of sculptures by Akio Takamori from an East Coast Estate. The collectors were devoted to Akio's work for many years and acquired seven works by the artist over twenty years. The earliest piece titled “Humanity II” dates from 1995 is one of the artist’s seminal envelope works. In the 1980s, ceramic artists started to push the idea of the vessel and transform it from its functional purpose into sculpture. Takamori’s slab-formed vessel were not olny instrumental in launching his career but also allowed him to combine the concept of the vessel to drawing. “Humanity II” demonstrates his melding of the interior and exterior through swelling forms and glazing. The collection includes a wonderful example of a small figurative sculpture of am aging man from Akio’s “Village Series.” There are two examples of the subject of young monks, one large scale the other more intimate. As well as a beautiful work titled “Kneeling Venus” depicting an elegant head of a woman based on Tang Dynasty sculpture on top of the Classical Western nude female figure. These collectors were passionate about supporting artists throughout their careers. This group of works show their dedication to that process. We a proud to be able to showcase these pieces.
Takamori was a seminal figure in ceramic art, whose work over the past thirty years has left an enduring impact on the Pacific Northwest arts and the medium itself. His work is often autobiographical, drawing on his life in Japan, his family, and mythological themes. He is known for his coil-built figurative sculptures in which the narrative painting defines the form. Takamori explored themes of cultural identity by engaging the history of Eastern and Western aesthetics. Bold form and color defines his body of work, which is highly expressive of human emotion and sensuality.
Akio Takamori was born and raised in Japan. He has been exhibiting in the United States, Europe and Asia since the mid 1980s. Takamori received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1976 and his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University in 1978.
Takamori’s work is included in numerous collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Los Angels County Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Ariana Museum in Geneva, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including three National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship Grants (1986, 1988, 1992), the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2006), and the USA Ford Fellowship (2011). Takamori was a professor of art at the University of Washington. He lived and worked in Seattle.