Chuichi Konno (1915-2006) 忠一 今野
Cat and Pumpkin Patch
Showa period, 1940’s.
Folding screen in two-panels. Painted on paper with mineral pigments and gofun.
sign: Chuichi 忠一
seal: Konno no in 今野 之 印
H. 136 cm x W. 166 cm (53.5” x 65”)
Price: USD 32000
A two-fold Japanese screen from the 1940’s by the Nihonga artist Konno Chuichi, depicting a cat grooming itself amidst a flowering pumpkin patch. Rather than the geometric formality often encountered in the mid 1930’s, here the artist utilizes fluid line and pattern to express the density of the foliage. The somewhat abstract and simplified shapes and saturated colors generate the impression of a field constructed entirely of captivating pattern. Generous use of both mineral pigments and white powdered shell (gofun), built-up to create a slightly three-dimensional effect, is apparent throughout the entire work.
Chuichi originally studied traditional Nanga style painting in his home prefecture of Yamagata. He left for Tokyo soon after the death of his teacher, Goto Shotei, in 1934. There he continued his studies under the modern landscape artist Kodama Kibo. He changed direction quite dramatically in 1940 after being inspired by the work of Gokura Senjin. Chuichi joined his atelier and began formulating his personal style, which culminated in the 50’s and 60’s in densely composed forest and mountain views depicted with heavily applied pigments. Chuichi exhibited on with the Inten on 42 occasions and received the highest award there.