Last weekend I went up to Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) is one of the finest, in my opinion. If you ever have a chance to go see their collection, it is worth it! I was there to see a specific exhibit called Cezanne and Beyond. This exhibit is brilliant and will only be at the PMA until the end of May (a little more than a week left!). It is not traveling anywhere else after Philadelphia. It received glowing reviews for very obvious reasons, evident as soon as you walk into the gallery space.
While I was there I walked over to the Perelman Building, a sort of PMA annex, and wandered through the show on Matisse and the French Riviera, various exhibits on fashion, and stopped in front of a huge pot in the hallway. It must be in their permanent collection as there were no pots to accompany it in any sort of exhibit. It stood on its own, a strange bulbous tall shape with glaze smeared and brushed up and down it. While my aesthetic is not analogous to this style, the pot drew me to it. I've seen this artist's work before and it always amazes me. This enormous pot was thrown by Toshiko Takaezu, a Japanese American artist from Hawaii. She is a tiny woman pictured at the very top of this post walking among her pots and here to the right inside one of her pots! She used to do functional ceramics but moved on to the more sculptoral thrown pieces. Her classic forms are these closed, organic shapes and her creativity and forward thinking have made her a forerunner in the fusion of Eastern and Western ceramics. Whether you like this form or not, you have to appreciate the talent it took to create it! I really like the oragnic quality of some of her rounder pots.