Bamboo art in the Met’s Japanese galleries

The Japanese galleries at the Met are like a bride -- they always have something old, something new, and no doubt if you look hard enough you'll spot something blue.  This summer, bamboo art is the overarching theme, starting with "The Gate," an amazing construct that artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV created for the entrance to … Continue reading Bamboo art in the Met’s Japanese galleries

Ah, the beautiful world of craft art…

Great to dip back into the world of craft art -- or whatever name you want to call first-rate works made in clay, glass, wood, metal,…  At the New York Ceramics and Glass Fair I reconnected with Cliff Lee, a ceramist whose work I had written about in 2010  for American Style.   Five years, I now … Continue reading Ah, the beautiful world of craft art…

SOFA finds

One should probably never admit ignorance, but to abide by that rule would be to deny the excitement of learning.   So should I not admit that I did not know all the artists at SOFA New York because everyone knows them?  Nah.  I am not about to forego one of the most fun things about … Continue reading SOFA finds

Portable pots

Hard to review a show and not want to tiptoe away with a lovely piece or two -- especially when they are so very portable... Who knew that the Birmingham Museum of Art had such a wonderful collection of Vietnamese ceramics, most of from the 11th- through 13th- centuries.  As I mentioned in the WSJ … Continue reading Portable pots

Art that drives me MAD?

Picks from "Beauty in All Things: Japanese Art and Design," currently at the Museum of Art and Design or -- you got it -- MAD: I could so easily live with this 1990 Toshiko Takaezu vase with its characteristic  tiny- puckered-mouth -- strong, calm, and elegant -- and this dramatic basket by Torii Ippo, who … Continue reading Art that drives me MAD?


When we learn art history -- or anything for that matter -- we get it served up in neat little categories which makes it all so much easier to digest.  And then, little by little,  it becomes clear that those neat little compartments aren't quite as distinct as we thought they were.  That behind every … Continue reading BREAKING THE GLASS CATEGORIES

Chinese cloisonné: just decorative or also art?

Here's the ultimate decorative arts medium -- cloisonné -- and new evidence that Ming Chinese scholar-artists might have prized it the way they did their craggy scholar's rocks and understated ink paintings. The Economist has a great review of a show of cloisonné at the Bard Graduate Center; I also reviewed it in the Wall … Continue reading Chinese cloisonné: just decorative or also art?