Obata: Sumi Painting; Studies of Acanthus Leaves

  • $1,500.00
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Artist: Chiura Obata   (1885-1975)
Title: Acanthus (in pencil)
Date: February 19, 1937

Large sumi (ink) studies of Acanthus leaves from several vantage points. The distinctive Acanthus leaf was a  popular motif used in many types of ornament in many parts of the world, including on the capitals used in ancient Greek architecture. Obata taught at Berkeley between 1932 and 1954, and made many study paintings as demonstration to his students. This work was done for art class “2B” on February 19, 1937. Titled and dated in pencil by the artist at bottom left “Asanthus (sic)  2B Feb 19-1937”. 

Obata’s economy of line and mastery of the brush are practically unequalled in 20th c. American art. He influenced a generation of California artists, and at his own count taught more than 10,000 students. The University of California, Berkeley preserved all of his paintings and sketches while Obata and his family were interned in Utah during WWII. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. With a certificate of authenticity from the estate of the artist.

Obata’s training in sumi painting began in Japan at the age of seven. He 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, with a few wrinkles along edges. On imported Japanese paper.

Dimensions: 52.7 x 39 cm  cm
Provenance:  Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a certificate of authenticity from the estate of the artist.