Obata: Snow-covered Landscape with Geologic Formation

Chiura Obata

  • $1,900.00

Artist: Chiura Obata   (1885-1975)
Title: Snow-covered Landscape with Geologic formation
Date: Circa 1930s-40s

Painting in sumi of a dramatic geologic formation in a snow-covered landscape that includes a fence, clouds, and two coniferous trees. Our geologist friend Ted Dengler offered the following assessment:

"The dark sloping face looks like a slump or landslide. That could be the collapsed cinder cone with larger peaks in the distance. Dark color would be consistent with dark ash appearing beneath snow cover. The intensity of the sumi on the slumped side of the scarp, and the sharpness of the ridge line at the slump, makes the feature seem fresh. It feels sort of violent. The evenness of the cutout and the convex upward shape makes it seem like slumping loosely consolidated material (sand, mud, ash …), rather than spalling granite like we see in Yosemite. The hill seems to stand alone, which would be unusual for a sedimentary feature, but not so unusual for an igneous feature. I see no sign of current current volcanic activity.
I guess another possibility would be a desert dune, although dunes tend to have more even scarp lines and the sand ripples on the dune face tend to be parallel to the ridge line, and here the sumi strokes are emphatically orthogonal to the ridge line...In composition, it pretty much looks like the Great Wave off Kanagawa."

Chiura Obata taught at Berkeley between 1932 and 1954, and made many study paintings as demonstration to his students. His economy of line and mastery of the brush are practically unequalled in 20th c. American art. The University of California, Berkeley preserved all of his paintings while Obata and his family were interned in Utah during WWII. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata.

Condition:  Excellent condition overall, with a few wrinkles along edges. On imported Japanese paper.  
Dimensions:  39.2 x 52.8 cm
Provenance:  Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. WIth a certificate of authenticity from the estate of the artist.
Signature:  Obata (In Japanese)  Sealed: Artist’s seal


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