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

Samurai beauty

If anyone knew how to express both pageantry and lethality it was the Edo period Samurai  -- as a show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, amply demonstrates.  The headline the WSJ gave my review says it all: "Dressed to Kill in Peacetime." Much of their fearsome beauty is due to the textures and rhythm of … Continue reading Samurai beauty

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?