Obata: Setting Sun in the Sacramento Valley (Sold)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata (1885-1975)
Title: Setting Sun in the Sacramento Valley
Date: 1930  Size: 46.2 x 34 cm

A blazingly visionary and transcendent rendering of a sunset sky in the Sacramento Valley. Obata has depicted the flat valley as if a great ocean, and the mountains in the distance appear as floating islands. Obata described the extraordinary array of cloud formations above, illuminated by orange, gold, and purple light, as “a forest of fire in the sky, with its devilish flames roaring across the heavens.’” This work is based on the monumental painting on silk from 1922 that was recently included in the 2020 retrospective “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” that toured five cities around the world. From the World Landscape: America 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. Each of the finished prints in the series required between 120 and 205 separate hand printings, and some required fifteen to twenty blocks to replicate a single brushstroke. These works represent the absolute apogee of the art of color woodblock printing in the 20th century. 34 of the 35 prints in the series show California landscapes. In a subtle touch that can only be seen in person, in this design there are golden details in the clouds above the horizon that appear to be the result of tiny brushstrokes--they are printed. According to the Takamizawa booklet on the series, this work required 135 hand printings. Unsigned, as usual. Scarce.

Publisher: Takamizawa
Signature: Unsigned, as is common
Condition: Very good impression, color and condition. Paper with light toning.