“St. Ives”

Setagaya Art Museum

St. Ives, a fishing village in Cornwall, England, was, from the mid ’30s through the mid ’60s, a major site of British art production. Important works of painting, sculpture, and ceramics were produced by such artists as Terry Frost, Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Kenneth Quick, Adrian Stokes, Alfred Wallis, and Christopher Wood, among others. Many of these artists developed a special relationship with Japan, by way of the relationship between the ceramicists Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach. In a stunning exhibition of their neglected art, the works of this special place and time have been lovingly assembled, inviting comparisons between the sociopolitical and cultural histories of Great Britain and Japan, both island kingdoms.

The exhibition is suggestive on a number of levels. It makes clear that while certain artists may seem more masterful than

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