Concurrence and Divergence: New Work by Michael Hurwitz and Mami Kato
May 3, 2019 through July 27, 2019
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia based artist couple Michael Hurwitz and Mami Kato have been
sharing adjoining studios within their home for nearly thirty years, creating work starkly different
in practice and medium while embracing the fluidity of their overlapping inspirations.
Concurrence and Divergence: New Work by Michael Hurwitz and Mami Kato, brings together their
artwork for the first time in exhibition, presenting pieces that illustrate themes that have been
important to their work for many years: Hurwitz continues his explorations of translucency and
structure as a genesis for functional design, and Kato’s enigmatic visions of universal order
become ever more focused in concept driven sculpture.
While the manner in which they approach their work differs, both artists’ practices are influenced
by Japanese culture and concerned with craft, resulting in work that complements one another.
Hurwitz is a celebrated pioneer of the art furniture movement, and has received several artist’s
grants and honors, including NEA, Pew, and Tiffany Foundation fellowships. His furniture pieces
can be found in the permanent collections of The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Arts & Design, Providence, R.I., the Renwick and the Gallery of
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Hurwitz gives a
voice to the material, allowing its structure to define the form and its inherent beauty to speak
for itself, always with functionality as an underlying unifier.
With Kato’s work, the paradigm is inverted as she begins with an abstract concept or notion and
uses her sculpture to give form to this visual poetry. She approaches art-making with an intention
to visualize the invisible order/dynamism of nature and the universe. The material she chooses is
often a tool of metaphor used to support the conceptual goal of a sculpture. Kato’s rice straw
sculptures not only reference her Japanese heritage, but represent the potential of energy to
surge from the earth, as well as its ability to sustain life. Her pieces made of eggshells elicit a
visceral response from the viewer before their intellect begins to process the experience and
compute the effectiveness of the material. Other examples of her work, which combine animal
head & plant-like forms, are her examinations of the order throughout nature, yet showing a side
of its experimental and exploratory quest.
Concurrent with the couple’s ability to unite material and concept is their commitment to
creating work that is carefully crafted to ensure superior quality and longevity. Concurrence and
Divergence will be on view through the end of July.