George Nakashima - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction Hong Kong Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Arthur and Evelyn Krosnick, 1990
    Sotheby's, New York, 'New Life for the Noble Tree: Property from the Collection of Dr. Arthur and Evelyn Krosnick', 15 December 2006, lot 304
    Private Collection, California
    Sotheby's, New York, '20th Century Design Including Works by the Tiffany Studios from the Geyer Family Collection', 6 March 2013, lot 248
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    George Nakashima, The Soul of a Tree, A Woodworker's Reflections, Tokyo, 1981, p. 142
    Derek E. Ostergard, George Nakashima, Full Circle, exh. cat., American Craft Museum, New York, 1989, p. 139
    Mira Nakashima, Nature, Form & Spirit: The Life and Legacy of George Nakashima, New York, 2003, pp. 82, 88, 151, 183

  • Artist Biography

    George Nakashima

    American • 1905 - 1990

    Working out of his compound in rural New Hope, Pennsylvania, George Nakashima produced some of the most original and influential furniture designs of the post-war era. Nakashima aimed to give trees a second life, choosing solid wood over veneers and designing his furniture to highlight the inherent beauty of the wood, such as the form and grain. To this end, his tables often feature freeform edges, natural fissures and knot holes. Nakashima was an MIT-trained architect and traveled widely in his youth, gaining exposure to modernist design the world over.

    The signature style he developed was the distillation of extraordinary, diverse experiences, which led to the establishment of his furniture-making business in 1946. In particular, his practice of Integral Yoga, which he studied while working under the architect Antonin Raymond on the construction of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, had a lasting impact on his philosophy as a designer.

    After returning to the U.S. in 1940, Nakashima's family was interned in an American concentration camp, a horrible ordeal that nevertheless introduced him to traditional Japanese joinery by way of a Nisei woodworker he met in the camp. He incorporated these techniques and also drew on American vernacular forms, such as the Windsor chair. These diverse influences have resulted in immense crossover appeal in the world of twentieth-century design collecting.

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Set of six 'Grass-Seated' chairs

American black walnut, woven sea grass
each 70 x 46 x 50.5 cm. (27 1/2 x 18 1/8 x 19 7/8 in.)
Executed 1990. Together with a copy of the original order card.

HK$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for HK$252,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 7 June 2021