Of rectangular-form, the upper portion modeled as wood, the lower portion in pottery; the base with the artists' joint square seal and the numbers 20-2-95, with two small seals 'Lu' and 'Lu' on the underside of the handle, a long inscription incorporating a date yihai (1995) and the artists' signature beneath the handle and the spout, and two small seals 'Wenxia zhi (Made by Wenxia)' and 'Jianxing' on the interior of the cover
6 in. (15.2 cm.) high

The Irving Collection, no. 59Y.
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Lot Essay

Lu Wenxia, a female artist, was born in 1966 in Yixing, Jiangsu province. She began her career as a disciple of the Yixing pottery master Xu Xiutang (maker of lots 6 and 50). Lu respects the Yixing pottery-making traditions but also innovates in her presentation of classic subjects. She is known as a master of capturing details from daily life and objects. Her approach to imitating bamboo, one of the most common classical subjects within Chinese art, is unique and lively. Lu’s pieces depict the imperfections of the bamboo by recreating the natural wormholes and decay on the surface. Lu often adds a tiny ladybug onto the bamboo, positioned as if it is about to fly away, to represent the transience of time and life; this ladybug has become a signature of the artist. Some of her other naturalistic works are in the collection of Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, and in the collection of Ziguangge, Beijing.

In 1992, Lu decided to leave the Yixing Pottery Factory and establish her own art studio, Riyu Yifang (“Sun and Rain Studio”, 日雨藝坊), with fellow artist Lu Jianxing. Lu Jianxing, a male artist, was born in 1958, and is also a native of Yixing, Jiangsu province. Lu began studying pottery and sculpture at Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, Jiangsu province in 1984, and also studied under the master potter Xu Xiutang (maker of lots 6 and 50). He has been making pottery and promoting Yixing art to foreign audiences ever since.

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