The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting the outdoor installation “Mineo Mizuno: Harmony” in the museum’s Resnick Lawn through Nov. 11.
For several years, Mizuno has lived on Fort Mountain Ranch in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The intense beauty of the idyllic forest has inspired the artist’s latest body of work, which includes interventions across the property using ceramics, fallen trees, and manzanita shrubs removed to avert fires.
For the LACMA installation, Mizuno transplants elements of this immersive environment to Los Angeles. “Tea House,” like an earlier one he built on the ranch, is his interpretation of the traditional Japanese structure. Its open, organic form balances the seclusion needed to experience the tea ceremony with the powerful presence of the natural surroundings.
Around the tea house, Mizuno places a series of sculptures. Embedded in wood and on the ground, his ceramic water drops and tea bowls are painted with meditative repetitions of Japanese kanji such as yui (connect) and wa (harmony). These concepts reflect his ongoing interest in the communicative properties of trees and water.
“Mineo Mizuno: Harmony” will be brought together in conversation with LACMA’s outdoor exhibition “The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness,” located in the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden, alongside 12 works by French sculptor Auguste Rodin, which have been on display at LACMA since 2009. The exhibition joins other permanent outdoor installations on LACMA’s campus, including Chris Burden’s “Urban Light” (2008), Robert Irwin’s “Primal Palm Garden” (2008), and Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass” (2012). These outdoor sculptures are an extension of the museum’s gallery space beyond its walls, enriching the visitor’s experience.
“Mineo Mizuno: Harmony” is curated by Staci Steinberger, associate curator, decorative arts and design at LACMA.
Mizuno was born in Gifu Prefecture and has lived in California since 1964. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts, Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles, and has had numerous solo exhibitions in Southern California and Japan.
In 2005, the Long Beach Museum of Art organized a survey and catalogue of his work, “Crossing Boundaries: The Ceramic Sculpture of Mineo Mizuno.” His sculptures have been included in notable group exhibitions including “Facing the Sublime in Water” at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena (2012), “Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945- 1975” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona (2011), and “Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000” (2000) at LACMA.
He currently resides in Northern California.
LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Gallery hours: Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, closed; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, call (323) 857-6000 or visit www.lacma.org.