Tanabe Chikuunsai II (1910-2000)
Mat plaited Kokeshi basket
22 x 14 x 14 cm
8 ¾ x 5 ½ x 5 ½ inches
Box signed and sealed by Chikuunsai II
Sealed Tanabe family wrapping cloth
Chikuunsai II (1910-2000) excelled at mat plaiting, a technique lending itself to sculptural experimentation, as the impression of rigidity and mass given by the solid walls is contrast by the light, fine lines of bamboo split as narrow as 1/128 of an inch. While Chikuunsai II returned to open-work designs repeatedly throughout his career, his mat plaited pieces tend to be more boldly experimental and are comparably few. This unusual and charming basket was made in the Tekisuikyo workshop in Osaka at which Chikuunsai II lived and worked between the war and 1965, and probably dates to the early post-war years, a period of great accomplishment for this ever-prolific artist. It is modeled on the shape of the traditional kokeshi doll, a familiar and playful form Chikuunsai II also finds dramatically sculptural and modern.