Important painting by Atsuko Tanaka to headline MBA Seattle Auction House's Sept. 28 online auction

Also sold will be two sculptures by Anthony Caro (British, 1924-2013), and two charcoal self-portraits by Jonas Wood (American, b. 1977). The online-only auction starts at 5 pm Pacific. Internet bidding will be on several platforms.
By: MBA Seattle Auction House
Painting by the Japanese modernist Atsuko Tanaka.
Painting by the Japanese modernist Atsuko Tanaka.
RENTON, Wash. - Sept. 5, 2023 - PRLog -- An important untitled synthetic polymer on canvas painting by the Japanese modernist Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005), two sculptures by British artist Anthony Caro (1924-2013), and two charcoal self-portraits by Jonas Wood (American, b. 1977) are all part of MBA Seattle Auction House's Important Modernism: Art and Object auction slated for September 28th.

The online-only auction will start at 5 pm Pacific time, with online bidding available through the MBA Seattle Auction House website ( as well as and Phone and absentee bids will also be taken. Previews will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 26-27, from 10-5 PST; and Thursday, Sept. 28, from 10-4; or by appointment.

With a pre-sale estimate of $300,000-$600,000, and a real chance to finish in the seven figures, the Tanaka painting is the auction's undisputed headliner. "We're pleased and honored to be offering this important, museum quality painting by Tanaka," said Michael Mroczek of MBA Seattle Auction House. "It's been in private hands here in Seattle since its last purchase in 1998."

The vibrant, colorful modernist work, measuring a stout 64 ½ inches by 51 inches (canvas, less frame), originally came out of a private estate in the Dakota Building in New York City. Tanaka would create her most iconic work, The Electric Dress, in 1955 and executed this painting four years later. She joined the Gutai Art Association, an avant garde art group in Japan, in 1955.

Tanaka maintained membership until 1965, meaning this work was painted within that period at Gutai, making it quite rare and desirable. The bright colors and abstract composition resemble the bright lights and circuitry of her famed Electric Dress. "With her large canvases selling up to $1.6 million, we are very excited to see where the final hammer drops," Mr. Mroczek remarked.

The electric abstraction is artist signed in Kanji lower right signed and dated again on verso. It's housed in a wood frame that's only slightly larger than the canvas, which is in overall excellent condition. There's a Christie's "00105798" inventory label and a Lou Sgroi Studio ink stamp on the stretcher verso. Tanaka's paintings can be found in many of the world's prominent museums.

To learn more about MBA Seattle Auction House and the online-only Modernism: Art and Object auction scheduled for Thursday, September 28th, please visit

Michael Mroczek
Source:MBA Seattle Auction House
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