Obata: Passing Rain (High Sierra, USA) (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata (1885-1975)
Title: Passing Rain (High Sierra, USA)
Date: 1930

A dark curtain of falling mist passes above a colorful riverbed in the Sierra Nevada. Obata himself wrote “Upon the clear, mirrorlike sky appear lumps of rain clouds, which sail speedily over the mountains watering all things beneath as they go by and refreshing all.” (Obata’s Yosemite, page 32). Afternoon rainfall in the Sierra Nevada was among the artist’s favorite themes. In person, it seems almost impossible for the sky to have been produced from a series of woodblocks, but this series accomplished unprecedented effects with this medium. From the World Landscape series, the groundbreaking effort that Obata spent all his savings on creating with the highest possible standards. The project employed more than 32 carvers and 40 printers for eighteen months. According to the Takamizawa booklet on the series, this work required 114 hand printings. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Unsigned, as usual. Scarce.

Publisher: Takamizawa
Literature: “Obata’s Yosemite”, page 61. See “Chiura Obata: An American Modern”, page 85, fig. 53.See the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts online,  See also Smithsonian American Art Museum online. 

Signature: Unsigned, as is common