Locks Gallery

Jun Kaneko
June 1 – July 13, 2018

“To make a visual object out of any material involves two basic concerns. One is the energy to make the object – the other is craftsmanship to construct the ideas . . . It is my hope, someday, that I would become as close to the material so there would be almost no distance between the material and myself. I hope to become one with material, to feel what the material is feeling.”
– Jun Kaneko

Locks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of freestanding and wall-bound ceramic sculptures by Omaha-based artist Jun Kaneko. There will be an opening reception celebrating the artist’s sixth solo show with the gallery on Friday, June 1st, from 5:30-7:30 pm.
On view will be a collection of dangos and wall slabs created in the last decade. Many of the dangos feature a blue indigo low-fire glaze, one that Kaneko has crafted and developed over 20 years since his discovery of the process on a residency in the Netherlands. Several of these works were shown in a site-specific installation at the David and Gladys Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Phoenix, Arizona in March.

Kaneko’s complex raku firing and glazing process gives each wall slab and dango a unique personality. Part of the allure of the raku technique is the unpredictability of the end product, resulting in beautiful asymmetric and accidental surfaces. Strokes of color wash over the surface like rain, or, are punctuated with dots while others are saturated in deep heavy hues, all with an orchestra of intricate geometric patterns in color, line, and texture. At times minimalist and severe, at others playful and vibrant, this series of works expand on Kaneko’s exploration of ceramic materials, drawing on his lifelong search for harmonies and dissonances, spatial relations, and the emotional scale of the work of art.

Jun Kaneko (born in 1942 in Nagoya, Japan) has shown extensively in the U.S. for over fifty years and had one-person exhibits in Finland, Norway, Japan, South Korea and Canada. Kaneko’s work is in numerous museum collections throughout the world including Arabia Museum, Helsinki, Finland; Detroit Institute of Arts; Gardiner Museum, Toronto; Los Angeles County Art Museum; Museum of Art and Design, NY; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Phoenix Art Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum. In addition to his sculptures and installations, the artist has been commissioned to design costumes and sets for leading productions by the Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Philadelphia Opera Company.

Founded in 1968, Locks Gallery represents an international group of critically respected contemporary artists working in a variety of disciplines. The exhibition program is a diverse combination of fresh perspectives on 20th century masters, showcases of emerging talent, and new bodies of work from a core group of acclaimed mid-career artists. With a sustained commitment to contextualizing the work exhibited, the gallery regularly publishes illustrated catalogs with scholarly essays and hosts public programs such as artist talks, panel discussions, and gallery walkthroughs.

A collaboration with the artist (or their estate) is at the core of each exhibition, allowing the gallery to present original programming. The staff cultivates long-standing relationships with individuals and institutions, fostering a new climate for contemporary art collecting in the city of Philadelphia.

The gallery presents a broad spectrum of artistic practices, with a focus on seminal works in painting and sculpture. Priding itself on its museum quality setting and artistic excellence, Locks Gallery is a longtime member of the ADAA (Art Dealers Association of America) and subscribes to the highest measures of connoisseurship, scholarship, and curatorial practice.

Locks Gallery was founded in 1968 as Marian Locks Gallery. The original gallery on the 1800 block of Chestnut Street, was of the first commercial galleries in Philadelphia devoted exclusively to contemporary art. In 1971, the gallery moved into the former home of the Yale Club on the second floor of 1524 Walnut Street. The gallery become known for building a national audience for the work of living Philadelphia artists along with cultural events such as poetry readings that attracted participants from outside of Philadelphia. During that time, Marian Locks opened a satellite space on lower Arch Street to exhibit installation, earth works, and emerging artistic practices that were more experimental and less commercially attractive.

In 1990, the gallery moved to the southeast corner of Washington Square Park in a dramatic three story 1918 Italianate Palazzo style building formerly occupied by Lea & Febiger Publishers. Now under the direction of Sueyun Locks, the gallery continues to highlight local talent with a strong focus on women artists, alongside national and international artists.

Image Captions

1 Locks Gallery Building.

2-3 Jun Kaneko