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(1926 – 2002), USA

J.B. Blunk Biography

It is hard to know where to place Blunk as a craftsman. Though he has achieved his primary success as a woodworker, he has also created an extensive body of work in clay, carved stone and cast bronze and has even made jewelry and weavings. Furthermore, he tends to blur the categories of furniture and non-functional sculpture as if they weren’t there. For Blunk, the issue of art status does not come up; he works without a conception of such a fixed category. His attitude towards such issues is reminiscent of the Japanese indifference towards distinction between art and craft.

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Throughout his career, Blunk has been unusually integrated with his surroundings, and in many ways, his own home may be his masterpiece. Perched atop a ridge near the small town of Inverness, the house is like the man himself: rough, but with innumerable touches of sensitivity; modest in its scale, but astonishing in its depth; and detached from the hustle and bustle of modern life, but bristling with energy nonetheless. He has stayed true to an aesthetic and a value system that has little to do with the current craft world. Blunk’s work is powerful in its freedom, simplicity, and lack of preconception about what furniture should be.

J.B. Blunk Featured Artworks

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Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1980Ceramic cup
3 1/2 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1975Ceramic cup
4 1/8 x 3 1/8 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled - Plate by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled - Plate, c. 1990Ceramic
17.8 x 17.8 cm
Kate MacGarry Enquire about this work
Moods of Mezcal #1/6 by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkMoods of Mezcal #1/6, c. 1990Ceramic cup
2.5 x 2.62 x 2.5 cm
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1970Ceramic sculpture
13 x 7 x 4 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1970Ceramic sculpture
7.12 x 5.12 x 2.2 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1985Ceramic candleholder
7.25 x 10.88 x 2.62 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work
Untitled by J.B. Blunk contemporary artwork
J.B. BlunkUntitled, c. 1970Ceramic candleholder
5.38 x 6 x 3.5 inches
Blum & Poe Enquire about this work

J.B. Blunk Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, J.B. Blunk, J.B. Blunk at Kate MacGarry, London
Closed
14 September–20 October 2018 J.B. Blunk Kate MacGarryLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, J.B. Blunk, Solo Exhibition at Blum & Poe, Tokyo
Closed
18 November 2016–21 January 2017 J.B. Blunk Solo Exhibition Blum & PoeTokyo

J.B. Blunk Represented By

Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Tokyo, Japan Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo

J.B. Blunk In Related Press

Inside the Sublime World of Late Sculptor J. B. Blunk Related Press Inside the Sublime World of Late Sculptor J. B. Blunk 30 July 2018, Architectural Digest

Imagine living not only in the midst of pristine natural surroundings but actually feeling truly embraced by them, breathing in warm woody aromas as an abundance of curvaceous redwood forms hug you inward. Such is the state of being inside the intimate, hand-built abode of the late prolific American sculptor J. B. Blunk, who began creating it in...

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J.B. Blunk: Blum and Poe, Tokyo Related Press J.B. Blunk: Blum and Poe, Tokyo 16 January 2017, Art Agenda

Pottery is place, folded and fired. It is soil, stone, flora, topography, and climate, massaged by human tradition and technique. In Japan, the placeness of ceramics has been taken to an extreme with local variations in style proliferating across the island nation. This sensitivity to place and materials echoes in the work of the late Californian...

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J.B. Blunk at Blum & Poe, Tokyo, Japan Related Press J.B. Blunk at Blum & Poe, Tokyo, Japan 9 January 2017, Frieze

The late J.B. Blunk is best known as a mid-twentieth century US West Coast furniture maker, sculptor and self-styled architect. Along with earlier woodworker artisans including Wharton Esherick and Espenet Carpenter, he forms part of what has come retrospectively and somewhat loosely, to be considered a Californian modernist arts and crafts...

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