Yoichi Ohira - Design London Thursday, October 17, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Barry Friedman Ltd., New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 2000

  • Exhibited

    'Vetri Veneziani di Ohira: Opacità e Trasparenza 2000-2001', Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, 8 February-4 March 2001
    'Yoichi Ohira: A Phenomenon in Glass: A Retrospective Exhibition', Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, 19 September–9 November 2002

  • Literature

    Rosa Barovier Mentasti, William Warmus and Suzanne Frantz, Yoichi Ohira: A Phenomenon in Glass, exh. cat., Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, 2002, pp. 233, 383

  • Artist Biography

    Yoichi Ohira

    Japanese • 1946

    Glass art – hard, fragile, cold and often heavy – is not typically designed to be handled. Yoichi Ohira's luminous blown glass vessels, however, offer an exception to this trend. They are small and light enough to be turned in one's hands like a Wunderkammer specimen, inviting the viewer to admire his abstracted design vocabulary of gemstones, polished ivory, veined rocks, shimmering water, agate, moss and lichens. Ohira has been compared to Emile Gallé for his ability to emulate the natural world in glass. Comparisons may also be drawn to Jean Dunand's bronze vessels, Japanese rokusho patina and Otto Natzler's volcanic glazes – an impressive range of media to be translated into glass.

    Yoichi Ohira graduated from the Kuwasawa Design School, Tokyo in 1969. Shortly thereafter he took up a glassblowing apprenticeship at the Kagami Crystal Company, Ltd. In 1973 Ohira moved to Venice to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti; he graduated in 1978 earning the highest possible grade for his thesis, "The Aesthetics of Glass." In the late 1980s Ohira began collaborating with Murano glassmakers, earning the "Premio Selezione" of the Premio Murano in 1987.

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Property of a Private Collector, New York


Unique ‘Nastri e Murrine’ vase

Hand-blown glass canes with murrine, carved and polished.
22.4 cm (8 7/8 in.) high
Executed by Livio Serena, master glassblower and Giacomo Barbini, master cutter and grinder, Anfora, Murano, Italy. Underside incised Yoichi Ohira/m° L. Serena/m° G. Barbini/1 / 1 unico/Friday 17-11-2000/murano and with artist’s cipher.

£3,000 - 5,000 

Sold for £10,000

Contact Specialist
Antonia King
Interim Head of Sale
+44 20 7901 7944


London Auction 17 October 2019