Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture

Hard Bodies: Contemporary Japanese Lacquer Sculpture

  • ISBN-13: 9781517904173
  • $30.71

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Since the Neolithic era, artisans in East Asia have coated bowls, cups, boxes, baskets, and other utilitarian objects with a natural polymer distilled from the sap of the Rhus verniciflua, known as the lacquer tree. Lacquerware was, and still is, prized for its sheen—a lustrous beauty that artists learned to accentuate over the centuries with inlaid gold, silver, mother-of-pearl, and other precious materials.This tradition has undergone challenges over the past thirty years. A small but enterprising circle of lacquer artists has pushed the medium in entirely new and dynamic directions by creating large-scale sculptures—works that are both conceptually innovative and superbly exploitive of lacquer’s natural virtues. Featuring thirty works by sixteen artists, this handsome publication details the first-ever exhibition of contemporary Japanese lacquer sculpture in the United States, shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

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