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Seraphim
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Seraphim


Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This stoneware sculpture captures and conveys the very essence of natural motion, like the curling of smoke in the air. The base is solid, anchoring the piece and providing stability. From this foot, the piece rises in twisting spirals and elegant, arabesque curves that imply fluid motion. As the form twists, ribbons of clay reach out into space to defy gravity and hang in the air. At once fluid and rigid, moving and frozen, this piece is a study in contrasts. It draws the eye along its organic flowing contours and then challenges the mind with its convoluted and entangled forms. Its surface is uniformly covered in a thin, white slip that allows the play of light and shadow to serve as decoration. The slip creates a matte surface that helps guide the viewer to understanding the physicality of the form as a solid mass. Without reflection and without surface pattern, the work becomes a presentation of motion in its rawest form. Fujikasa is one of a group of young Japanese ceramic artists who are exploring the nature of their medium. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1980, Fujikasa studied art at the Tokyo University of the Arts. She received her degree in 2010 and almost immediately gained international attention. Her 2011 solo exhibition at the Hagi Uragami Museum introduced her to an eager public, and her works were purchased for collections in Japan, France, and the United States. Today her work is on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the Musée Cernuschi in Paris in addition to appearing in private collections around the world. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Fujikasa does not remain bound by functional forms as she works in ceramic. Her works are purely sculptural, and as such engage a discourse that is separate from the long tradition of vessel making that Japan has so effectively celebrated, challenged, and at times struggled to overcome. She considers her forms to be rooted in the natural world and her personal observations. “It is through my intimate dialogue with my medium that I am able to express nature’s fluid energy. Drawing from both the beauty and the power of this world and the emotional response that they evoke, I hope to convey nature’s life force in the mind of the viewer.“ This turn toward a fascination with nature and the phenomenological experience inscribed by our fascination with the world that surrounds us marks the beginning of a new and important expressive mode for contemporary artists in Japan.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
10/30/2015Examinationexamined for acquisition
Provenance Purchased by Betsy and Robert Feinberg (through Joan B. Mirviss as dealer), Bethesda, MD, 2015; given to Walters Art Museum, 2015
Inscriptions [Mark] Incised on base: FS [Date] Incised on base: 2015
Credit Gift of Betsy and Robert Feinberg, 2015

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Period
2015
Medium
stoneware with white slip glaze
(Ceramics)
Accession Number
49.2831
Measurements
H: 25 × W: 23 1/2 × D: 17 in. (63.5 × 59.69 × 43.18 cm)
Geographies
  • Japan (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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