Sculpturesite Gallery is pleased to present recent free-standing and wall hung works in ceramic by John Toki, ranging from 24 inches to over 12 feet.
Born in the Bay Area into a family that savored the rich Japanese tradition of ceramics, John Toki has worked in clay for over 35 years. A respected studio artist and adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in Oakland since 1993, Toki has also taught at San Francisco State, CSU Hayward, and the University of California, Berkeley. He is the president and owner of Leslie Ceramic Supply Company in Berkeley, which his parents founded more than fifty years ago, and the co-author of several notable books on ceramic sculpture.
Toki speaks about the satisfaction of working with clay: "It can be used for large-scale works, as well as more intimate pieces, with equal success. You can apply color by painting, glazing or mixing it into the clay. It's a quiet activity that you can manipulate with only your hands, you don't need tools really. You can use it for representational works, as well as abstraction. And I really like the physical presence of clay."
Toki's large-scale sculptures in clay and porcelain possess a timeless quality, inspired from forms found in nature (mountains, water, snow, sky) and suggest archaeological elements, yet they have a unique freshness in their technical complexity and resulting visual appeal. His work has been shown in the US, the Netherlands and Japan. He has completed public commissions and installations in Richmond, Berkeley, Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, and Cincinnati.
Toki completed several powerful works for this solo exhibition. He will also display a few sculptures that have either never been shown before or only on one occasion. In addition to a group of free-standing pieces, several wall hung (or supported) works are also presented, including "Earth Dream", with its accents of unusual stripes in, for Toki, rather bright colors, detailing a rich, earthy background. At 12'6" in height, it will dominate the gallery's west wall. Toki has also created pedestal sized works for collectors who lack the space for his monumental sculptures.