Obata: Sea, Cliff and Pines at Point Lobos, California (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata   (1885-1975)
Title: Cliff and Pine Trees at Point Lobos
Date: Undated; ca. 1930s-40s

Three seabirds (cormorants?) fly near steep cliffs and pounding surf, the location undoubtedly the California coast, and presumably Point Lobos, which was a favored subject of the artist. Sumi (ink) Painting on Japanese paper. Obata taught at Berkeley between 1932 and 1954, and he made many study paintings as demonstration to his students. His economy of line and mastery of Japanese-style brushwork are practically unequalled in 20th c. American art, perhaps because he trained with the brush in Japan beginning at the tender age of seven. Obata also imported all of his supplies from Japan, both high-quality inks and paper.  The University of California, Berkeley preserved all of his paintings while Obata and his family were unjustly interned in Utah during WWII.  The recent retrospective, “Chiura Obata: An American Modern”, recently toured five museums, concluding at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC in 2019. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a Certificate of Authenticity from the estate. 

Obata wrote that there were three disciplines essential to the practice of sumi-e, beginning with “Before the student touches a brush to paper, his mind must be as tranquil as the surface of a calm, undisturbed lake.” (See Chiura Obata: An American Modern, page 71.) 

Condition: Excellent condition overall.
Dimensions: 52.8 x 39.5 cm  cm
Provenance:  Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a certificate of authenticity from the estate of the artist.
Signature: Signed Chiura Obata and Artist's seal, lower right, in red
Literature: For similar paintings, see “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” (2018, UCSB), pages 117, 118 and others.