JPRI Critique Vol. XX No. 4 (October 2014)
Two Lectures on Japanese Ceramics
by Gordon Brodfuehrer

Nature, Tradition and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer. Produced by Balboa Park Online Collaborative, 2013.

A Look at the Legacy of Japanese Ceramicist Furata Oribe through the Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer. Produced by Balboa Park Online Collaborative, 2014.

Editor’s Note: We at JPRI are delighted to feature two video lectures by Gordon Brodfuehrer. The first introduces us to one of Mr. Brodfuehrer’s exhibitions at the Mingei International Museum (June 2, 2012 to January 13, 2013). The exhibition “explored the evolution of contemporary Japanese ceramics through the work of many artists and a variety of forms, from tea bowls and noodle cups to stunning vases and robust platters. Strong and sculptural, these ceramic pieces also reveal an earthy beauty through abstract forms, soft colors and pools of glaze. These organic objects come from kilns throughout the regions of Japan, and their clear connection to nature will be enhanced with large-scale photographs of Japanese landscapes and natural elements.” The second lecture is from the Fourth “Collectors in San Diego” exhibition series (March 20 to June 1, 2014), hosted by the Japanese Friendship Garden, San Diego. Mr. Brodfuehrer exhibited “an extensive collection of Oribe ware from various contemporary artists including Shugo Takauichi, Makoto Yamaguchi, and Suzuki Goro. Named after the late 16th century tea master, Furuta Oribe, Oribe style originates from the Minoh Province and is famous for its use in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. The style has gone through several phases of development from simple and utilitarian to artistic and sculptural.” (Japanese Friendship Garden)

Gordon Brodfuehrer: Born Mercy Hospital, 1942, when the nuns still wore sculptural habits gleaming like white marble. Studied Classical piano at the Royal College of Music, and the Royal Academy of Music, London. Returned to teach and manage family owned portfolio of real estate. Raised with decorative Asian objects brought back by my maternal grandfather who had been in the Pacific fleet, heretofore known as the Great White Fleet. Collected casually until that fateful day at the LACMA Japanese Pavilion, when I encountered some of the greatest of the contemporary Japanese ceramic masters by way of seeing their extraordinary creations on loan from Jeffrey and Carol Horvitz. Nine years later, I reside not in my condo, but in my Kura. And happily so.

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