The absolute best in contemporary ceramics (21st century as opposed to 20th century modern) was the work of Takuro Kuwata. He was shown, among other venues, by Salon 94, the most supportive mainstream gallery for ceramics in New York. It has at least two ceramic shows a year with a stable that includes heavies like Marilyn Minter and Laurie Simmons. Look for a CFile profile on this gallery early in January.
Aside from being very well priced ($4,500-$17,000) and mostly sold, Kuwata’s art has emerged as a joyful, exuberant presence in ceramics. His witty use of color, flashy play with gold, funky forms and sumptuous surfaces make him one the field’s most enjoyable and (reasonably) new artists. If Ken Price were a lava lamp, he would be Kuwata. A gold vase with limpid gold droplets was an extraordinary trophy. This artist was a standout regardless of medium. For a closer look at his work read CFile’s review of his last exhibition (link below).
Sadly, little in the contemporary realm that was great. An excellent work by Kathy Butterly ($22,000 and sold) was on Tibor de Nagy’s booth (but on the Miami Project fair). There was a good Shechet on the Sikkema Jenkins booth but generally the pickings were slim. Interestingly, Gagosian’s recently minted ceramic star, Edmund de Wall, was not on view.
Garth Clark is the Chief Editor of CFile.
Above image: Takuro Kuwata dazzled on the Salon 94 booth at Art Basel Miami 2013.