Japanese Bamboo Baskets : Masterworks of Form and Texture. Lloyd Cotsen.

Japanese Bamboo Baskets : Masterworks of Form and Texture

Cotsen Occasional Press, 1999. Hardcover. 11.5 x 14.5", 391 pp., 235 color plates, plus numerous color and b/w illustrations, cloth, d.j., slipcase, Los Angeles, 1999.
**Due to its size and weight, the shipping cost varies greatly depending on destination.
. Item #9225
ISBN: 1878529595

Japanese Bamboo Baskets: Masterworks of Form and Texture surveys nineteenth- and twentieth-century baskets of Japan, their place in history, and the elevation of bamboo craft work to an art form. It features more than 250 illustrations of selections from the largest known collection of Japanese flower baskets. This is the first book in English to examine bamboo baskets as modern sculptural masterpieces as well as chronicle the development of Japanese flower-arranging baskets from utilitarian containers through their subsequent transformation into art.

The Cotsen Collection is acknowledged by Japanese and western experts as the most comprehensive group of bamboo flower baskets in existence, and it provides an unparalleled resource for the study of their history and aesthetics. Lloyd Cotsen describes the evolution of the collection, from his initial passion for baskets as sculpture to an increasing interest in the cultural forces that shape Japanese basket makers and their work. Art critic Janet Koplos - author of a book on contemporary Japanese sculpture as well as ruminations on the nature of crafts today - contributes an essay on ways to look at and think about Japanese baskets, both traditional and modern. In her survey of the Japanese taste in Chinese basket, art historian Patricia J. Graham describes a new, Chinese-derived literati aesthetic that impelled changes in flower baskets in early modern Japan. The modern history of bamboo crafts begins in the late nineteenth century, and developments germane to baskets in the Cotsen collection are illuminated by art historian Hiroko Johnson and curator/author Moroyama Masanori. Mr. Moroyama has figured in a revival of interest in bamboo baskets in Japan since 1982, and his essay sets out key themes in the evolution of modern bamboo crafts and contemporary art baskets made for exhibition. In addition, the book includes biographical sketches of key figures, a survey of bamboo crafts techniques, a chronology, a bibliography and a glossary.

At the heart of this volume are dramatic portraits of works in the Cotsen Collection. Full-page and double-page illustrations abound. Large-scale details and second views evoke the forms, textures and three-dimensionality of the baskets, revealing their monumentality and the architecture of their construction. The baskets illustrated were selected primarily for their visual qualities, and are organized by region. They rage from 1890s examples by the first basket maker who signed his work to 1990s creations by leading bamboo crafts artists. Pieces by all those who have been made Living National Treasures are included.

This book is filled with new information and superlative works of art. It will be treasured by anyone who has known the joy of holding a rough-woven basket or admired the delicate tracery of bamboo strips in a contemporary work of bamboo art. Featured in the Nov/Dec 1999 issue of American Express DEPARTURE magazine!
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