Kitaoji Rosanjin (1883 - 1959 Japanese)

each .25'' H x 4.5'' Dia.

  • Provenance: Property of an Estate, Altadena, CA, purchased in Japan in the 1950s
  • Notes: One of the most famous Japanese artists of the 20th century, Kitaoji Rosanjin was a multi-talented, self-taught genius, a master of ceramics credited with reviving that art in Japan, as well as of painting calligraphy, and lacquer ware. He was equally renowned as a gourmet who pioneered the art of ''bishoku'', an aesthetic fusing the culinary and visual arts through the careful selection of ceramic dishes to enhance gustatory pleasure, and likewise the careful selection of food to enhance the visual charm of the dishes. In 1920 he opened his first of several restaurants, a private dining club, located over his gallery. As chef and manager, he created seasonal menus of exquisitely composed delicacies served on his own collection of traditional ceramic dishes. When the earthquake of 1923 destroyed his collection, he was inspired to make his own ceramics and undertook a serious study of ceramic history. With the aid of a master he at first imitated classic Japanese and Chinese forms, which he fired in an ancient kiln that had fallen into disuse. He quickly began to depart from traditional models and soon achieved fame for his often daringly simple original designs, which were always primarily inspired by their function in bishoku. In post-war Tokyo he was discovered by Americans among the upper ranks of the occupation forces, and was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to hold a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He accepted the invitation and made his first trip to America in 1954, determined to demonstrate to the West the superiority of Japanese culture. Continuing on to Europe, he made a trip to Vallauris, France, to meet Pablo Picasso, and present him with a vase. It is said that when Picasso spent too much time admiring the box the vase was packed in rather than the vase itself, Rosanjin lost his temper, exclaiming ''Not the box, not the box, you simple child! What I made is inside the box!'' In keeping with his reputation as an enfant terrible, he twice rejected the offer of title of National Living Treasure by the Japanese Government. (Sources: Earle, Joe. ''He Shouted at Picasso.'' Bonham's Magazine, Issue 36. Autumn 2013, p. 26. www.bonhams.com/magazine/14294/; Pombriant Manzella, Kathryn. ''A Remarkable Pioneer: Kitaoji Rosanjin.'' Studio Kotokoto. November 5, 2013. www.studiokotokoto.com/2013/11/05/a-remarkable-pioneer-kitaoji-rosanjin/; Wee, Darryl. ''Musee Guimet in Paris Celebrates Japanese Culinary Pioneer.'' Blouin Art Info.com. October 7, 2013. http://enjp.blouinartinfo.com
  • Condition: Overall good condition. One with a .125'' x .125'' shallow chip to rim. Slight variations to dimensions.

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June 17, 2014 3:00 PM PDT
Pasadena, CA, US

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