Obata: Watercolor of Three Berkeley Students Joined in a Circle (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata   (1885-1975)
Title: Watercolor of Three Students in an Embrace
Date: ca. late 1940s

Watercolor of two women and a man joined in a circle. They pose outside, beneath a tree, and the ground has been depicted by the artist with many hues, so perhaps it is springtime. These must be students at Berkeley, modeling for one of Obata’s painting classes. One woman wears oxfords and one wears pumps. Their heads are slightly bowed, as if joined in prayer. From their clothes it would appear to be some time in the 1940s, after Obata’s return to Berkeley at the end of the war. We can safely assume that this is a demonstration painting for one of his many art classes at Berkeley, where he taught between and 1932 and 1954. Obata’s economy of line and mastery of the Japanese 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 many of his paintings and sketches while Obata and his family were interned in Utah at Topaz during WWII. There is a sumi painting of three students published in "Chiura Obata: American Modern" (by ShiPu Wang), page 48, plate 10. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. With a Certificate of Authenticity from the estate of the artist.

Condition: Excellent condition overall. With pinholes in upper corners, probably from being displayed in the classroom. On heavy, absorbent Japanese paper.

Dimensions:  52.7 x 39.2 cm