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A delightful small tea bowl by one of the greatest potters of the 20th century, Kamoda Shoji, enclosed in a wooden box signed by his wife. Brown glaze is draped quietly across the rough dark clay, the contrast between simplicity and texture a pleasure to hold. It is 4 inches (10 cm) Diameter, 2-1/2 inches (6.5 cm) tall and in excellent condition.
Kamoda Shoji is without a doubt one of the most important and influential ceramic artists of the 20th century. Born in Osaka in 1933, he studied initially at the Kyoto Municipal University of Art under to be Living National Treasure Tomimoto Kenkichi, graduating in 1955. While in school he was awarded at the Shinshokai Exhibition (where he would be often exhibited) and his graduating project was purchased by the University Museum. While working a stint at a commercial kiln, he was accepted into the Contemporary Japanese Ceramics Exhibition. In 1958 he took up residence at the Tsukamoto Ceramics Research Kiln in Mashiko, establishing his own kiln there in 1961. That same year he was accepted into the National Traditional Arts and Crafts Exhibition (Nihon Dento Kogeiten) where he would exhibit until 1967. In 1964 he boldly stepped onto the stage with pieces in the Modern Japanese Ceramics Exhibition held at the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto; International Contemporary Ceramics Exhibition held at Tokyo National Museum, and the New Generation of Ceramics Exhibition held at the Goto Museum. He would receive the JCS (Japan Ceramics Society) Award that year, one of the most important prizes for a Japanese potter. In 1966 his work was presented in New York at the First Japan Art Festival, granting him international acclaim to add to his growing domestic reputation and he would receive the JCS Gold Prize that year, cementing his reputation. Thereafter his work was much celebrated in the world of invitational exhibitions and he would receive many awards. In 1969 he moved his kiln, and would again relocate a decade later. He died suddenly at the age of 49 in 1983. His work would be the subject of a multitude of posthumous exhibitions, starting with the Tochigi Prefectural Museum on the third anniversary of his death, and the following year at the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art. His work is held in the National Museums of Modern Art, both in Tokyo and Kyoto, Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of Art, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Art, Iwate Museum of Art, Victoria & Albert Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Beijing Palace Museum among many others. For more see: Japanese Ceramics Today: Masterworks from the Kikuchi Collection (1983), Japanese Studio Crafts by Rupert Faulkner (1995) or Into the Fold: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Horvitz Collection (2015).