Not to save the best for last, but this piece by Nagae Shigekazu is simply breathtaking. The pattern of light and dark squares which drives direct lines across the distended quadrilateral form hails images of the Ichimatsu-moyo pattern at the Katsura Rikyu imperial palace. The lyrical curves of the vessel itself are in sharp contrast to the extreme precision of the patterns, creating a unique dialog between viewer and viewed. It comes enclosed in the original signed wooden box titled Chokutai (Straightforward). The vessel is quite large at 47 cm (18-1/2 inches) tall, 31.5 x 23 cm (12-1/2 x 9 inches) and in excellent condition.
Nagae Shigekazu (b. 1953) graduated the Seto Industrial School of Ceramics in 1974 Beginning to grab attention in the late 70s, he has striven to perfect porcelain casting techniques, creating one-off shapes and forms previously impossible. He is held in the collection of the V&A (London), LACMA (Los Angeles) and the National Gallery of Australia, Cincinnati and Cleveland Art Museums, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Japan Foundation and many many others. With very low output, this is a rare opportunity to join the worlds top museum collections by acquiring this artist. According to Ceramics Now Magazine: Nagae Shigekazu (born in 1953), is one of the leading pioneers of porcelain casting and firing techniques in Japan. Casting is commonly associated with the mass production of porcelain, yet Nagae valiantly transcends this stereotype, ultimately elevating this technique to the avant-garde. Casting alone cannot achieve the natural movements found within Nagae’s forms. His popularity and recognition as an artist have skyrocketed, with acquisitions by the V&A in London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Australia in just the past 3 years. Also collected by leading institutions such as the Musée National de Ceramique-Sèvres in Paris and the Musée Ariana in Geneva, among others, as well as receiving prestigious awards such as the Grand Prixs at the 1998 Triennale de la Porcelain in Nyon, the Mino Ceramic Festival and the Japan Ceramic Art Exhibition (both 1997), Nagae’s stature and respect in the world of porcelain has reached new heights.