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Swirling designs of color show the distinct touch of one of the 20th century’s greatest potters Kawai Kanjiro on this large bowl enclosed in a signed kiri-wood box. It is 8-1/2 x 11 x 2-1/2 inches (21.5 x 28 x 6 cm) and is in fine condition. It comes enclosed in a wooden box annotated by Kawai Takeichi (Buichi), his longest and most intimate student.
Kawai Kanjiro (1890-1966) was a true artist by nature, and together with Hamada Shoji, set a pattern of study for modern potters. After graduating the Tokyo School of Industrial Design, he came to study in Kyoto, eventually establishing his own kiln on the Gojo-no-Saka (It remains standing today and is a must see for anyone visiting Kyoto). Together with compatriots Hamada Shoji and Bernard Leach (with whom he traveled throughout Asia) established the modern Mingei movement in ceramics, the most influential ceramics movement in the 20th century. His research on glazes (of which he developed thousands over a lifetime of work) remains influential as well. Refusing to be limited to ceramics, Kanjiro also worked in bronze, wood and paint. An interesting final note on this unusual artist, when offered the title of Living National Treasure, an honor bestowed on very few, he declined.
Kawai Takeichi (1908-1989) studied the art of pottery under his legendary uncle Kawai Kanjiro in Kyoto from the age of 19. He stayed with Kanjiro for many years, one of his most loyal supporters, and the two were very close. He founded his own kiln in 1953, and participated in many private and public exhibitions. Work by him can be found in The National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery if New South Wales as well as the National gallery of Australia, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum, New Zealand National Museum among many others including of course the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.