Published: May 28, 2002
BOSTON, MASS. – For nearly 20 years Pucker Gallery has exhibited a diverse collection of ceramic artists’ works ranging from the fine porcelains created by former Benedictine monk Brother Thomas to the earthen, utilitarian beerpots crafted by the tribes people of Southern Africa. With the inclusion of works by Tatsuzo Shimaoka, designated a National Living treasure of Japan, the gallery was provided access to the world of Mingei (folk art) pottery.
Through this relationship Master Shimaoka has introduced the gallery to his former apprentice (1972-1977), Ken Matsuzaki of Mashiko, a brilliant creator in his own right with more than 30 years of ceramic experience behind him and a lineage of master potters; Tatsuzo Shimaoka and his teacher Shoji Hamada, both of Mashiko.
The works by Matsuzaki have added a sculptural dynamic as well as an organic freedom in both his choice of glaze and form that is very different from what has been shown previously at the gallery. Within these dramatic works, however, is the heart and tradition of Mingei. The lessons learned from his teacher years ago still present themselves in the utilitarian qualities and the careful craftsmanship of each work on display. They are essentially useful objects – incense burners, plates, cups, storage pots – but they express themselves with a most exceptional and individual artistic voice.
The Pucker exhibition is the first solo exhibition of the ceramic work of Matsuzaki in North America. It opens June 1 and will continue through July 6. The artist will be present at the June 1 reception, from 3 to 6 pm.
Matsuzaki received the Kokugakai Arts Association Nojima Award in 1980 and became an associate member of the Kokugakai Arts Association in 1931. He has also received the Associate Members Award from Kokugakai Arts Association Prize of Excellence in 1984. Several works are now part of the collections at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio and at the Sackler Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass.
Pucker Gallery is at 171 Newbury Street. Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5:30 pm; Sunday 1 to 5 pm. For information, 617-267-9473 or visit www.puckergallery.com.
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