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From June 3 to October 3, 2021
The Colours of Fire: Hamada and Artigas will present a dialogue between the work of two of the great ceramicists of the 20th century: Josep Llorens Artigas (1892-1980) and Hamada Shoji (1894-1978), a National Living Treasure of Japan. Through the two ceramicists’ relationship and mutual admiration, the show will allow us to learn more about the discovery and the impact of Japanese ceramics in Catalonia and, at the same time, it will bring to light the fruitful connections that Catalan artists like Joan Gardy Artigas, Joan Miró and Eudald Serra established with the mingei movement, recovering Japanese popular art.
Artigas and Hamada first met in England in 1952 and met again a decade later, this time in Japan, on the occasion of the wedding of Joan Gardy Artigas (the son of Llorens Artigas) and Mako Ishikawa. From then on the personal relationship intensified, so much so that the kiln constructed in 1963 by Llorens Artigas and his son in Gallifa (Barcelona) was built according to Hamada’s models.
The show explores the artistic relations between Catalonia and Japan in the middle of the 20th century, around Artigas and Hamada, and all the artists that were drawn to the mingei movement, such as Joan Miró, Joan Gardy Artigas, Eudald Serra, Elisenda Sala and Ramon Carreté. Pieces will also be exhibited by the most important artists in that movement, Kawai Kanjiro, Bernard Leach, Munakata Shiko and Serizawa Keisuke (like Hamada, a National Living Treasure).
This exhibition brings together a hundred pieces, from institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Japan Folk Crafts Museum in Tokyo, the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the Design Museum in Barcelona, the Miró Foundation and numerous private collections.
Organised by Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and Fundació J. Llorens Artigas