Obata: Watercolor Painting of a Mountain Ravine in Autumn (SOLD)

  • Sold.

Artist: Chiura Obata  (1885-1975)
Title: Painting of a Mountain Ravine in Autumn
Date: Circa 1946

Vibrant watercolor of trees in flaming autumn colors next to a rushing river that flows through a steep ravine. Obata has captured the scene with rapid brushstrokes in an expressionistic style, almost a counterpoint to his close and detailed watercolors of flowers and ikebana arrangements. Obata’s mastery of the brush was so complete that he could paint in many different styles, all of them unique to his experience and training. As Obata himself wrote “But if the artist is full of individuality, the product is also full of individuality, and it is a true artwork.” (See page 127 of Chiura Obata: An American Modern). The Obata estate believes that this work may have been done on the Obata’s return trip from St. Louis to California at the end of WWII. Obata taught at Berkeley between 1932 and 1954, and the University of California, Berkeley preserved many of his paintings while Obata and his family were interned in Utah during WWII. Recent exhibitions of Obata’s works have been taken place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which would have closed in May of 2020. Provenance: Estate of Chiura Obata. Includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

Literature: For other examples of watercolors, see  “Chiura Obata: An American Modern” (UCal Press, 2018) pages 58-63, pl. 24-29.

Condition: Very good condition overall. Soft crease in lower left corner. With the original backing that was applied to the paper by the artist. Japanese paper hinges have been applied to the back at the top by a professional restorer, to aid in any desired framing of the buyer.

Dimensions:  49 x 36.2 cm
Sealed: Artist's seal
Signature: Chiura Obata