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Gerald Peters Contemporary is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Jun Kaneko. Bringing together new and classic works, the exhibition explores signature experimental pieces of the artist’s mature oeuvre.
Although best known for his brightly colored large-scale dangos adorned with polka dots or stripes, Kaneko has maintained another more formal and subdued practice alongside his signature works. This exhibition will present key pieces of his lesser-known study—muted tones, copper surface effects, and geometric compositions will punctuate the show—offering new insights into the artist’s practice and the possibilities of the medium.
Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Jun Kaneko studied painting with Satoshi Ogawa during his adolescence. He came to the United States in 1963 to continue his studies at Chouinard Institute of Art when his introduction to Fred Marer drew him to sculptural ceramics. He proceeded to study with Peter Voulkos, Paul Soldner, and Jerry Rothman in California during the time now defined as the Contemporary Ceramics Movement in America.
Based in Omaha since 1986, Kaneko has worked at several experimental studios including European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands; Otsuka Omi Ceramic Company in Japan; Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon; Acadia Summer Arts Program in Bar Harbor, Maine; and Aguacate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Over the course of his career he has partnered with industrial facilities to realize large-scale, hand-built sculptures. The first was his 1982-1983 Omaha Project at Omaha Brickworks. Later sculptures include his Fremont Project, completed in 1992-1994, and most recently his Pittsburg Project completed in 2004-2007. Most recently, Kaneko has worked at the Cuernavaca Raku ceramics studio, experimenting with new glazes and the unpredictability of raku.
Kaneko is increasingly drawn to installations that promote civic interaction, completing over sixty public art commissions, including two 350 foot long tile walls at Aquarium Station in Boston, Massachusetts (1993-2000); a three-story high wall in the Biology library at the University of Connecticut (1997); and the 88-foot-tall Glass Tower at the Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska (2017). Other large-scale permanent installations can be seen in Osaka, Japan (1994); Kansas City, Missouri (2006); Des Moines, Iowa (2013); and at the International Finance Center in Shanghai, China (2012). His artwork appears in numerous international and national solo and group exhibitions annually, and is included in more than 70 museum collections. Kaneko holds honorary doctorates from the University of Nebraska, the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and the Royal College of Art in London.