A faceted vessel by Miyanaga Rikichi enclosed in the original signed wooden box. It is 8-1/2 inches (21.5 cm) diameter 88 inches (20 cm) tall and in fine condition.
Miyanaga Rikichi was born the son of Miyanaga Tozan II in Kyoto in 1935. His grandfather, Tozan I, had been one of only five potters ever awarded the title of Teishitsu Gigei-in, member of the Imperial Art Academy. Rikichi graduated the Kyoto Municipal University of Arts Sculpture department in 1958, at the height of the post-war avant-garde movement. In 1960 he dropped out of the masters course there to travel the Americas and study. His work was quickly picked up in Japan, garnering his first major entry with a piece in the “Survey of Contemporary Art” at the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto in 1964 (MOMAK). In 1970 he became a member of Sodeisha after leaving the group Kohdo Bijutsu, and was selected as one of six potters for a group exhibition in New York with the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery. This same year he was exhibited again at MOMAK with “Contemporary Pottery : Europe and Japan. With this both domestic and international recognition, his reputation was set, and he has gone on to many group and private exhibitions and awards both within and without Japan. He succeeded the family name as the third Tozan in 1999. The next year saw his work at “’Utsuwa’: Thoughts on Contemporary Vessels,” at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo and his record has only grown from there, receiving the order of cultural merit from Kyoto among many other prizes. Work by him is held in The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / The Japan Foundation / The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia / The V&A London / Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art / The Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka / Kure Municipal Museum of Art / Musée Ariana, Switzerland / Museus d’Olot, Spain / Les Arts Décoratifs, France / Everson Museum of Art, the United States and many others.
According to the V&A: Miyanaga belongs to what is sometime described as the 'second generation' of avant-garde Japanese ceramists. The term is used to refer to artists who established themselves during the late 1960s and 1970s, building on the achievements of the 'first generation' members of the Sodeisha, the Shikokai and the Modern Art Association (Modern Art Kyokai) to bring Japan's avant-garde ceramics movement to maturity. The last of these, the Modern Art Association, was set up in 1950 with sections devoted to painting and sculpture. Photography and crafts sections were added in 1954.