Chiura Obata: Two Pencil Studies of a Seated Worker (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata   (1885-1975)
Title: Two Pencil Studies of a Seated Maintenance Worker at UC Berkeley
Date: Ca. 1930s

Two pencil studies of a workman holding either a dowels or some other item of construction. This was likely a moment in time that captured Obata’s attention, as he was constantly practicing his technique with both brush and pencil. The man appears to be part of the maintenance or gardening crew at UC Berkeley, where Obata taught painting  between 1932 and 1954. Obata seemed to make pencil drawings like this for his own personal pleasure and not as part of his class demonstrations, where he taught brush painting. There is one pencil sketch published in “Chiura Obata: An American Modern”, figure 33. These pencil drawings are smaller than his sumi-e paintings for demonstration, and they are on paper that seems to be domestic rather than Japanese, and from a notebook.  Obata’s economy of line and mastery of the brush are practically unequalled in 20th c. American art. The University of California, Berkeley preserved many of his artworks while Obata and his family were interned in Utah during WWII. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a Certificate of Authenticity from the Estate.

Condition: Excellent condition overall. With tiny rubber remnants along the top from the original notebook binding.
Dimensions: 35.5 x 45.4 cm