Jun Kaneko, Yutaka, 2010, glazed ceramic, 84 x 28 1/2 x 18 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Dirk Bakker
Jun Kaneko, Untitled, 2003, sumi ink, oil stick on Korean rice paper, 66 x 55 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Jun Kaneko, Untitled, Painting, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 114 x 86 1/2 x 2 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photography by Takashi Hatakeyama
Jun Kaneko, Untitled, Heads, 2013, hand built and glazed ceramics, Left 103 x 55 x 48 in. Right 104 x 59 x 48 in. Collection of John Novak. Photography by Colin Conces
Jun Kaneko, Untitled, 1995, oil stick on paper, 44 x 64 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Jun Kaneko, Splitting Red, 1996, 60 x 46 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Jun Kaneko, Parallel Sound Yellow, 1981, machine-made glazed ceramic bars, 84 x 144 x 72 in., produced at Otsuka Ceramics Factory, Shigaraki Japan, © Jun Kaneko Studio L.L.C.
Jun Kaneko, Bouquet, 1998, acrylic on canvas, 66 1/2 x 85 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist.
Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines
"Think of the qualities that should pervade the work of a great artist.
They'd include generosity, wit, playfulness, a keen ability to communicate visually and speak through materials, and the capacity to add something new to the conversation instead of producing rehash.
You'll find all of those merits in the art of Jun Kaneko, a Japanese-American ceramist and painter based in Omaha, Nebraska whose largely abstract creations are the subject of a big, enveloping and instantly likeable exhibition that opens today at the Akron Art Museum." —Steven Litt, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"See Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines not only for the work, but for how well the exhibit has been installed at the Akron Art Museum and how the colorful, vibrant and meaningful works make this resource for our community shine like the important place it is."—Anderson Turner, Akron Beacon Journal
Among the most acclaimed artists working in contemporary ceramics today, Jun Kaneko has spent decades pushing the boundaries of ceramics, sculpture and painting, repeatedly blurring the lines that have traditionally separated the world of fine art and craft. Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines, opening February 17, 2018, presents an array of the artist’s monumental works while providing insight into his thinking and artistic process. Informed by early experiences in a Zen Garden at Ryōan-ji in Kyoto, Japan, Kaneko’s work contains ongoing references to rhythm and pattern and sound and silence. His artworks are often covered with stripes, simple geometric shapes, and spirals and dots, suggesting opposing but complementary forces of light and darkness, mass and space and present and past.
Central to Kaneko’s artistic exploration is a sense of play and experimentation, which drives his restless creativity. His large-scale hand-built ceramic sculptures—both “dangos” and heads—often exceed seven feet in height and weigh thousands of pounds. Blurred Lines is not a typical exhibition of Kaneko’s works. While it features the artist’s signature ceramic dangos, sculptures, drawings and paintings, the exhibition also includes atypical works by Kaneko that highlight his ability to create monumental works that uniquely define the space around them. Many of the works in Blurred Lines are drawn from the artist's private collection and represent transformational works in his over 50-year career.
Blurred Lines was conceived—both in the selection of works and their arrangement in the galleries—as an experiential journey. By minimizing wall texts, the exhibition is intended to offer an uninterrupted and free-flowing art experience.
Jun Kaneko: Blurred Lines is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by funds from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ohio Arts Council. Media sponsorship by ideastream®.