Published: July 30, 2002
NEW YORK CITY – Barry Friedman Ltd. will open its 2002 fall season with a retrospective exhibition of glass vessels by Yoichi Ohira on view September 19 through November 9.
The exhibition will occupy the entire gallery and will include more than 100 new pieces, as well as approximately 100 examples of Ohira’s earlier glass vessels that will be on loan from collectors around the world.
A 390-page hardcover book on Ohira’s work will accompany the exhibition. The book will have more than 300 color plates and will include essays by Attilia Dorigato, director of the Museo del Vetro – Murano; Jean Luc Olivié, curator, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris; and essays by glass historians Suzanne Frantz, Rosa Barovier Mentasti and William Warmus. Also included will be in-depth interviews between gallery owner Barry Friedman and Yoichi Ohira. The book will be available through the gallery and will sell for approximately $75.
Japanese-born Yoichi Ohira has been living and working in Venice for more than 25 years. His beautiful and unique vessels are a blend of Japanese aesthetics with traditional Italian glass techniques. The works beg to be held and range in height from four to 12 inches. Ohira’s work is technically challenging. His bold use of contrasting colored powders with glass canes captures the magical quality of light and the reflection of the lagoons and canals of Venice.
In the past few years, Ohira’s work has reached a wide audience extending beyond the contemporary glass field. Many collectors and dealers in such fields as antiquities, contemporary paintings, Old Master paintings, Art Nouveau and Art Deco have eagerly acquired Ohira’s works.
Some of the most recent museum acquisitions include the American Craft Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris; Museo del Vetro – Murano; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan.
The Corning Museum of Glass’ prestigious Rakow Commission was awarded to Mr Ohira in 2001. His commission consisted of three vessels, whose forms represent different elements of the landscape.
Known for his love of experimentation and his understanding of materials, Ohira takes an active role in the preparation of his vessels. Ohira compares his role in collaboration with master glassblower, Livio Serena and with master glasscarver Giacomo Barbini, to that of a composer and conductor. In his own words, Ohira always “Stands next to the glassmaster to direct and conduct the work, controlling each and every movement of the glass and master in order that the piece takes the shape that I want to create.”
Yoichi Ohira was born in Japan in 1946. He moved to Venice in 1973, where he enrolled at the Academia di Belle Arti. Mr Ohira became an artistic glass designer with the de Majo Glass Company on Murano in 1987. That same year, he was awarded the Premio Murano “Premio Selezione” prize.
Barry Friedman Ltd, 32 East 67th Street, can be reached at 212-794-8950.
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