On view at Nonaka-Hill from February 8 to March 28, 2020 was the first solo exhibition of works by Sofu Teshigahara (1900-1979) in Los Angeles. The exhibition introduced a selection of rarely seen metal sculptures and calligraphic works produced from the 1950s to the 1970s. The artist was founder of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana (1927 – ongoing), which is recognized as having made a significant mark on the history of postwar Japanese art. A grand-scale ikebana work composed by Teshigahara’s direct Sogetsu student, ikebana-master Kaz Yokou Kitajima, Ikkyu Shihan Riji of Sogetsu School of Ikebana spanned the exhibition spaces. In the gallery’s back room, vintage photographs by Ken Domon (1909-1990) of Teshigahara’s ikebana works were also on display.
Teshigahara, who had spent decades working with ephemeral materials and saw his sculptural ikebana efforts come and go, chose more lasting materials for his sculptural practice. Around 1955, he devised a method of overlaying carved wood forms with brass, bronze or lead sheets covering the wood entirely or partially. The result was a hybrid of the organic and manmade, which covered and accentuated the forms underneath.