Zenji Miyashita (Japanese, Kyoto 1939–2012)
ca. 1990
16 1/4 x 10 1/2 x 4 in. (41.3 x 26.7 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1994
Accession Number:
Not on view
Miyashita Zenji draws on the rich and varied traditions of Japanese ceramics to create highly evocative yet functional modern objects. In this vase, Miyashita employs the traditional Japanese ceramic technique of saidei, in which layer upon layer of different colored clays are applied to create a striated appearance. It is at once abstractly geometric and naturalistic, suggesting rugged mountain peaks and valleys in its richly patterned surface. Like many of Miyashita's works, the form of this vase is simple, prismatic, and unmistakably modern. Its pure and functional form also serves as a reminder that it is a useful object as well as a work of art.
Inscription: Signed (bottom): Miyashita
[Joan B. Mirviss Ltd., New York, until 1994; sale, Bonham's, London, April 20, 1994, no. 142, sold to MMA]

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Clay into Art: Selections from the Collection of Contemporary Ceramics in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 24, 1998–May 30, 1999, unnumbered cat. (pl. 13).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Designing Nature: The Rinpa Aesthetic in Japanese Art," May 26, 2012–January 13, 2013.

Jane Adlin. Contemporary Ceramics: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1998, pp. 7, 47, colorpl. 13.