Shio Kusaka: Neutra VDL
This catalogue was published alongside Shio Kusaka’s 2020 exhibition at the historic Neutra VDL Studio and Residences in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA, curated by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath. Responding to the unique architectural environment of Richard Neutra’s Los Angeles home and workspace, Kusaka quietly populated this iconic example of domestic mid-century modernism with her signature idiosyncratic ceramic vessels, small sculptures of animals, a new set of dinnerware and hand-crafted textile designs. Living and working in Los Angeles for the better part of the past two decades, Kusaka has spent her career subtly subverting the world of ceramics within the field of contemporary art. Enthusiastically embracing imperfections and irregularity in her ceramic-based works, Kusaka has approached her practice with a playful openness that is at once modest yet laced with wry humor.
Kusaka’s work, with its exquisite attention to the irregular and embrace of the fallibility of the human hand, is an incredible match for the architecture of Richard Neutra who preached about the therapeutic qualities of modern architecture from a psychological and environmental point of view. In different but related ways, both artist and architect embrace the fragility of the human condition and the power of objects to make our lives more joyful. Although mute, her pots and other interventions generate a kind of silent indistinct chatter that harkens back to the heyday of Neutra’s VDL house when it played host to a wide array of artists, architects, writers, filmmakers and musicians.
With a text by Douglas Fogle and Hanneke Skerath. Designed by Purtill Family Business.
Softcover, 48 pages
Los Angeles: Blum & Poe and Wood Kusaka Studios, 2021
9.5 x 13 inches