The Space Between
An artist’s intimate relationship with his preferred medium: with his ceramics, Jun Kaneko tries the limits
1st edition, 2020
264 pages, 209 color and 15 bw illustrations
24 x 30 cm
Jun Kaneko, born in 1942 in Nagoya, Japan, and based in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1986, is revered for his role in establishing modern ceramic art, yet he has been equally prolific in a range of other media. This book offers an entirely new and detailed survey and analysis of nearly six decades of Kaneko’s work in ceramics, drawing, painting, installation art, and opera design. Tracing the career of this dynamic artist from his early training and subsequent association with the pivotal California Clay Movement to his important public commissions and philanthropic concerns of the present, it focuses in particular on the past twenty years, which have previously not been the subject of a comprehensive volume.
Drawing extensively on interviews he has conducted with Jun Kaneko since 2002, Glen R. Brown reflects on the principal concepts that have shaped Kaneko’s art, situating them in the space between a Japanese Shinto ethos and the aesthetic tenets of Western art informel and Post-Painterly Abstraction. These concepts provide context for in-depth discussion of Kaneko’s art, from the colossal glazed-ceramic Dangos to the sensitive coloristic stage and costume designs for Madama Butterfly, The Magic Flute, and Fidelio. From these, a fascinating picture emerges of Kaneko’s unique, relentlessly self-sustaining creative process and the multiple conceptions of space that inform it. Featuring two hundred color illustrations and substantial information not previously available in published form, this book offers an up-to-date definitive critical survey of this important artist’s life and work.
Glen R. Brown is professor of twentieth-century and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.