JUN KANEKO: Solo
Jun Kaneko is a citizen of the world and an internationally recognized sculptor. Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1942, Kaneko came to the United States in 1963 to continue his education and has been based in Omaha, Nebraska since 1986. This year, Kaneko was awarded the 2018 Gold Medal for Consummate Craftsmanship from the American Craft Council in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. Gold Medal awardees represent the extraordinary among a field of elite.
Jun Kaneko’s sense of exploration, innovation and experimentation is legendary. Scale and surface are perfectly matched in his well-known forms: dangos, heads, and wall pieces. For many years, Kaneko has been working in his studio to develop an elusive glaze that he first encountered twenty years ago at the European Ceramic Work Center in The Netherlands. Last year he successfully realized this blue flowing glaze and created a stunning body of work where it is prominently featured. In addition, Kaneko has been working at the Cuernavaca Raku ceramics studio, in Mexico, experimenting with new glazes and the unpredictability and possibilities of raku. Both series of this exciting new work will be featured in - Jun Kaneko: SOLO at Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art.
A list of Jun Kaneko’s current and past achievements is truly extraordinary. He has completed over sixty public art commissions and his work is included in more than seventy museum collections. Over the course of his career he has worked at experimental studios in The Netherlands, Japan, Mexico and the United States. Partnering with industrial facilities to realize large scale, hand-build sculptures Kaneko has created perhaps the largest high fire ceramic sculpture in the world.
In addition, Kaneko has designed sets and costumes for three operas: Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (2006), Beethoven’s Fidelio (2008), and Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2012). All three operas have toured throughout the United States.
In 1998, Jun Kaneko and his wife Ree formed KANEKO, a non-profit cultural organization to serve the community as an open space for creativity. KANEKO is headquartered in landmark, turn-of-the-century warehouses in the Old Market District of Omaha, Nebraska.
Currently, Kaneko is featured in two large public outdoor exhibitions in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 20 large-scale works are installed throughout the spectacular setting of the Desert Botanical Garden. In addition, at the David and Gladys Wright House, an exhibition of sculpture is throughout the grounds of the property and around this historically important Frank Lloyd Wright house. In July, Kaneko will exhibit a variety of sculptures at the historic Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.