PHILADELPHIA CITY HALL HAS TWO NEW SQUATTERS
When I was walking by City Hall a bit ago I noticed a flat bed with two large boxes on it. I thought oh no what art work do we have to sell to pay off the vendors for the month of September.I didn’t recall seeing this head anywhere in City Hall
were they in the basement I wondered? Then I asked the forklift driver and he gave me the scoop.
These two 12 foot high bronze statues are on loan from the artist Jun Kaneko
This sculptural installation is in conjunction with a city-wide celebration of the artwork of Jun Kaneko, coinciding with the East Coast debut of his production of the opera Madama Butterfly with the Opera Company of Philadelphia in October 2009. Entitled “On the Wings of Music: Art, Opera & You,” this celebration includes the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s installation of Kaneko’s sculptural work in the Perelman building’s Skylit Galleria. This is one of four installations throughout the city exhibiting sculpture by this internationally acclaimed artist. It will be the only installation of the four extended through April 2010 to coincide with the 44th Annual Conference of the National Conference on Education For The Ceramic Arts (NCECA), entitled “Independence” which celebrates contemporary ceramic art.
Jun Kaneko, born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, began his formal studies in art in the United States at the Chouinard Art Institute and continued at Berkeley and Claremont Graduate School. Since the mid-1990s, Kaneko has focused on an ongoing series of immense-scaled ceramic works—collectively referred to by the artist as dangos (Japanese for rounded form.) The multiple steps involved with each piece (drawing, painting, firing and glazing) require constant and intense engagement with the artist’s hand. These four sculptures represent a larger body of work called the Mission Clay Project, which created a total of forty-one new sculptures. This project took three years to complete.
You’ll recall in an post last week I mentioned that if the City found a sponsor, opening night of Madama Butterfly with the Opera Company of Philadelphia would be simulcast on the Art Museum Steps.