Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Jun Kaneko's large ceramic heads, wall slabs, ceramic constructions, and paintings. The exhibitions will run in conjunction with the San Francisco Opera's Madame Butterfly, with multimedia production design by Jun Kaneko.
Kaneko's works at their essence are about dialog — the dialog between the artist and his material, between the viewer and the objects, and between the objects themselves. With a deep reverence for space and visual pauses (the Japanese concept of 'ma’), Kaneko recognizes the delicate harmony between these three conversations.
The large scale ceramic heads are both tranquil and energized, their meditative expressions counterbalanced by bright, rhythmic patterning. When placed facing each other, the relationship between the figures becomes pronounced, and the space between them charged. Kaneko's ceramic constructions are three dimensional canvases which show a blend of his Eastern and Western sensibilities, as do his abstract ceramic wall slabs and paintings.
Jun Kaneko, born in 1942 in Nagoya, Japan, is best known for his pioneering work in monumental ceramic forms. Having first trained as a painter, he moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s and started working in ceramics at a time when the medium was undergoing revolutionary change. Kaneko’s unparalleled technical skills as a craftsman, proclivity for pushing the boundaries of aesthetics and scale, and experimental spirit have defined his illustrious and multifaceted career in public art, set design, and architectural projects. His work is included in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and can be found in the collections of more than seventy museums. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and the Royal College of Art in London. He co-founded, with his wife Ree, the non-profit organization KANEKO in 1998. He currently lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska.