PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia based artist couple Michael Hurwitz and Mami Kato have been sharing adjoining studios within their home for nearly thirty years, creating work starkly different in practice and medium while embracing the fluidity of their overlapping inspirations.
Concurrence and Divergence: New Work by Michael Hurwitz and Mami Kato, brings together their artwork for the first time in exhibition, presenting pieces that illustrate themes that have been important to their work for many years: Hurwitz continues his explorations of translucency and structure as a genesis for functional design, and Kato’s enigmatic visions of universal order become ever more focused in concept driven sculpture.
While the manner in which they approach their work differs, both artists’ practices are influenced by Japanese culture and concerned with craft, resulting in work that complements one another. Hurwitz is a celebrated pioneer of the art furniture movement, and has received several artist's grants and honors, including NEA, Pew, and Tiffany Foundation fellowships. His furniture pieces can be found in the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Arts & Design, Providence, R.I., the Renwick and the Gallery of National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Hurwitz gives a voice to the material, allowing its structure to define the form and its inherent beauty to speak for itself, always with functionality as an underlying unifier.
With Kato’s work, the paradigm is inverted as she begins with an abstract concept or notion and uses her sculpture to give form to this visual poetry. She approaches art-making with an intention to visualize the invisible order/dynamism of nature and the universe. The material she chooses is often a tool of metaphor used to support the conceptual goal of a sculpture. Kato’s rice straw sculptures not only reference her Japanese heritage, but represent the potential of energy to surge from the earth, as well as its ability to sustain life. Her pieces made of eggshells elicit a visceral response from the viewer before their intellect begins to process the experience and compute the effectiveness of the material. Other examples of her work, which combine animal head & plant-like forms, are her examinations of the order throughout nature, yet showing a side of its experimental and exploratory quest.
Concurrent with the couple’s ability to unite material and concept is their commitment to creating work that is carefully crafted to ensure superior quality and longevity. Concurrence and Divergence will be on view through the end of July.
Challenging the traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that coexists in the expressive realms of design, fine art and contemporary glass and ceramics. Questioning and testing the boundaries of these fields, Wexler Gallery aims to present functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation as much as aesthetic beauty.
The Wexler Gallery is located at 201 North Third Street in the historical district of Old City Philadelphia. We invite you to visit our gallery or explore our website at www.wexlergallery.com. For high resolution images or additional information, please contact [email protected] or call (215) 923-7030. Wexler Gallery is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am – 6:00 pm., and Monday by appointment.