Moderne Gallery

Neriage, one of Yabe's favorite ceramic techniques, is beautifully exemplified in this irregularly shaped bowl. Makoto Yabe’s (1947-2005) work exemplifies the artistic freedom and improvisational approach that was essentially prohibited to him in Japan, where he was a classically trained ceramicist. In order to be free to experiment and explore the boundaries of his art, Yabe left for the US where he taught and worked for the rest of his life. He was born in Fukushima, Japan and began studying ceramics in Kyoto when he was 9. He earned a certificate in ceramics at Kyoto Municipal Industrial School in 1967 and a bachelor's degree at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in 1969. He served an apprenticeship with ceramicists Jinmatsu Uno and Sango Uno before he came to the United States to explore artistic freedom that was not possible in Japan. ''He really came here for artistic freedom,"" said Bill Thrasher of Wellesley, an independent curator who specializes in Japanese art. ''His work had an improvisational quality that is highly desirable."" Yabe taught ceramics in Alaska before moving to Boston, where he was quickly accepted by the local ceramicists and opened a studio at the Brickbottom Artists building in Somerville, MA. Nerikome, Neriage, and Mishima were some of his favorite ceramic techniques. A consummate and influential instructor, he taught at Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and the Decordova Museum. ''He was a teacher in the truest sense of the word,"" said an associate. His work has been exhibited at and collected by museums throughout the US, including the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Cleveland Art Museum. His spirituality informed all of his work and teaching. According to a close friend ''He wasn't just a pottery teacher, he was a teacher of life."


Makoto Yabe


c. 1980


Glazed Ceramic


274.32 x 21.59 x 10.16 cm




United States




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