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November 1, 2014
Solo Exhibit Review by Matthew Kangas on art ltd., November 2014 issue
Art Review on art ltd.
Etsuko Ichikawa: “Act of Drawing” at Winston Wächter Fine Art
by Matthew Kangas

Etsuko Ichikawa’s debut solo show at Winston Wächter follows a string of professional successes since her arrival in the US in 1993 to study at Pilchuck Glass School. After working as part of Dale Chihuly’s hotshop crew for a while, she began her own career in 2003. Developing her pyrographs—dripping molten glass onto paper and removing it just in time to reveal the “scars”—she was invited to participate in important gallery and museum shows in Japan, China, the US, and the Netherlands. Simultaneously resembling spontaneous gestures and frozen biological moments, Ichikawa’s style was simplistically aligned by some art critics to Jackson Pollock. However, when one examines her links to Asian art, entire new dimensions of meaning emerge. Pollock may be among her influences, but it is important to remember Zen Buddhist calligraphy; linear ceramic surface decoration; and classical Chinese and Japanese spring and winter landscape scenes which share with the younger artist stark, white paper backgrounds (often symbols of snow).

Seen this way, playing down the artist’s focus on her “act of drawing” (the exhibit’s title), let us read the dynamic burned and burnished charcoal residues as icons of nature, such as the abstracted leeks and onion stalks in Trace 6814 (all works are 2014); an insect on the wing in Trace 6914; and the looping ripples of a rock tossed onto a pond in Trace 4314. This interpretation also plays down the performative dimension of Ichikawa’s work (although she has staged events in a nuclear cooling tower and elsewhere, for example). Ichikawa is like many artists with a craft background: because of the often huge technical challenges, most settle on one technical effect, perfect it, and develop it for at least a decade before moving onto another one. Ichikawa has established herself as the greatest glass pyrographer in the world. It will be fascinating to see what she explores next now that she has fulfilled this particular vision.

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News Archive
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April 23, 2017
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A permanent art installation for Pullman High School
in Pullman, WA.
The final proposal has been approved and the project is moving forward to its fabrication. Working with Arts WA, Washington State Arts Commission.
March 01, 2017
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Visiting Artist Program at Museum of Glass
in Tacoma, WA.
Experimental project using Uranium glass for my new work "JOMON Vitrified".
February 10, 2017
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Glass Pyrograph commissioned
for The Alexandria at Torrey Pines in San Diego
June 16, 2016
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Grand Prize awarded by Dave Bown Projects
November 04, 2015
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Destined to Create: Artist Etsuko Ichikawa
September 06, 2015
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Crafted: Objects in Flux
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
August 25, 2015 – January 10, 2016
August 25, 2015
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Crafted: Objects in Flux published by Museum of Fine Arts Boston
August 01, 2015
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Interview published on COLLECT & CONNECT
April 04, 2015
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Artist Presentation on HAKONIWA Project
Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA
March 31, 2015
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Mesmerizing Molten Glass Paintings by Etsuko Ichikawa
March 22, 2015
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FORCES OF NATURE, Film Screening & Presentation
Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park
April 17, 2014
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Performance at Chrysler Museum of Art
February 11, 2014
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Seattle Weekly reviews Echo at Satsop
December 08, 2013
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New Work: Aquagraph on panel
December 07, 2013
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New Work: Tsurezuregusa series on panel
October 04, 2013
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Echo at Satsop film is released!
October 02, 2013
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The Culture Trip interview
September 27, 2013
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Etsuko Ichikawa: Art Zone with Nancy Guppy
September 17, 2013
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Seattle Times reviews Echo at Satsop
December 31, 2012
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Archived Interviews: 1996 - 2012
December 31, 2012
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Archived Publications: 1996 - 2012
December 31, 2012
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Archived Reviews: 1996 - 2013
November 21, 2012
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Art Rader Asia interview
November 14, 2012
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Exhibit Catalogue: Waterhouse & Dodd
April 01, 2009
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Review: Afterburn on GLASS
March 02, 2009
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Etsuko Ichikawa at BAM on Art Culture
September 01, 2008
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Plumbing the Subconscious
May 14, 2008
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Living Images: Etsuko Ichikawa’s Ephemeral Eternal
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