Obata: Large Watercolor Painting of a Blooming Cactus

Chiura Obata

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Artist: Chiura Obata  (1885-1975)
Title: Large Watercolor of a Flowering Orchid Cactus
Date: Ca. 1930s

Large watercolor of a flowering orchid cactus. Two large, showy red blooms are the focal point of this focused nature study. Obata has paid close attention to the subtle variations in color that are unique to each leaf and petal, capturing them in his inimitable, modern style. While the original mat had been labeled in pencil (in a hand that was not Obata’s) “Cactus Flower”, this would seem to by a type of Epiphyllum Orchid cactus, a relative of the Christmas Cactus. Perhaps Obata visited the Berkeley Botanical Garden and captured this stunning example. We see why Shipu Wang subtitled his recent catalog on this artist “ An American Modern”.  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. A recent exhibition of Obata’s works  was held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which would have closed in May of 2020. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a Certificate of Authenticity. 

Literature: “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” (UCal Press, 2018) pages 58-63, pl. 24-29.

Condition: Excellent condition overall. With the original backing that was applied to the paper by the artist. Minor hinging remnants to corners on verso.
Dimensions:  52.5 x 39.5 cm
Sealed: Artist's seal
Signature: Chiura Obata

SKU: OBA117