Shio Kusaka receives the Isamu Noguchi Award

October 5, 2021

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On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, The Noguchi Museum will hold its annual Benefit and presentation of the eighth annual Isamu Noguchi Award to artist Shio Kusaka and architect Toshiko Mori.

Established in 2014, the Isamu Noguchi Award honors the tenets that Noguchi expressed in his life’s work and acknowledges highly accomplished individuals who reflect similar ideals in their own times. The Award thus celebrates innovation, global awareness, and Eastern and Western cultural exchange.

Shio Kusaka is known for her innovative and open approach to the ceramic medium, crafting vessels and forms that are both functional and abstract. Painting and incising on thrown porcelain and stoneware surfaces, Kusaka merges sculpture and drawing, representation and minimalism. Her work synthesizes from a broad range of visual culture, from ancient Japanese pottery to Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings, asserting the role of ceramics within the realm of contemporary art. The Award is presented in recognition of her mastery of her medium, and the thoughtfulness with which she stretches and extends it—a quality she shares with Noguchi.

Kusaka was born in 1972 in Morioka, Japan, and moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s. After receiving her BFA in 2001 from the University of Washington, Seattle, she moved to Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works.

In early 2020, the historic Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Los Angeles, CA held a solo exhibition of Kusaka’s work, curated by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath. Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, Netherlands, held the two-person exhibition Shio Kusaka and Jonas Wood, in 2017. Kusaka’s work has also been included in important group exhibitions, such as the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2014); Going Public: The Napoleone Collection – International Art Collectors in Sheffield, Graves Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2016), which traveled to Touchstones Rochdale Museum, Rochdale, UK (2016–2017); Recent Acquisitions in Asian Art, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH (2017); and Making Knowing: Craft in Art, 1950–2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2019–22).

Kusaka’s work is held in public collections worldwide, including the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH; The Broad Art Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. 

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