Shigaraki and Iga
The ceramic work of Japanese master Sugimoto Sadamitsu (b. 1935) is the subject of an exhibition at the Frank Lloyd Gallery, opening February 18. The first comprehensive exhibition in the United States of this renowned artist's work, it is comprised of sixteen masterworks in the Shigaraki and Iga tradition of high-fired stoneware made for the Tea Ceremony. Also included in the exhibition are several paintings by Sugimoto-sensei of Zen subjects, as well as a striking calligraphy by his Zen Master, Tachibana Taiki Roshi of Daitokuji, who passed away in 2005 at the venerable age of 107.
Sugimoto-sensei is regarded as the greatest living master of Iga and Shigaraki, and he has received many honors in Japan.His work was highlighted in a 1989 exhibition that celebrated the 400th anniversary of the death of Sen no Rikyu, the legendary early master of the Tea Ceremony. That same year, the famed scholar of Tea Ceremony ceramics, Hayashiya Seizo, selected Sugimoto-sensei's work to represent Shigaraki and Iga masterpieces of the Momoyama period that are registered as National Treasures, for use in the movie made in that year titled Rikyu, a well-received treatment of the life of this revered master of the Tea Ceremony.
Sugimoto-sensei's work is widely held in Japanese public and private museums. In this country it is represented in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pavilion for Japanese Art.