Obata: Evening Glow at Mono Lake, from Mono Mills (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata (1885-1975)
Title: Evening Glow at Mono Lake, from Mono Mills.
Date: 1930

An almost mystical glow emanates from the sky, lending this work deep emotional resonance, similar to that of a painting by Rothko. This is one of the finest designs from the “World Landscape Series: America”, the groundbreaking effort that Obata spent all his savings on creating with the highest possible standards. The project, in collaboration with the Japanese publisher Takamizawa, employed more than 32 carvers and 40 printers for eighteen months. In “Obata’s Yosemite”, the artist himself is quoted: “The last glow of the dying day enfolds the storied Mono Lake and its surroundings with mysterious tints and hues.” An impression of this work was shown at the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition “America Is Hard to See” in 2015.  Obata taught at Berkeley between 1932 and 1954, and The University of California, Berkeley preserved many of his paintings while Obata and his family were interned in Utah during WWII. There is no difference in quality between signed and unsigned works from this series. Many museum examples are unsigned as here, including the set in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco (Achenbach); and there are no later editions of these works. According to Takamizawa records, this work required 130 separate printing impressions. Scarce.

Publisher: Takamizawa
Literature: Shown in “Obata’s Yosemite”, page 115. See “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” (2018) for a discussion of this series, page 25. See FAMSF and Whitney Museum as well as the Smithsonian American Art Museum online for their examples. 
Signature: Unsigned, as is common