Obata: Watercolor of Three Berkeley Students In Various Poses (SOLD)

  • Sold.

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

Sumi and watercolor painting of three students. The two men have joined hands with the woman, but they are seated on three different levels and are taking three different poses. The woman wears a brown skirt and a yellow top and leans on the platform where a man with glasses and a blue suit is seated. A second man stretches out on the ground, propped up against an unseen wall, his legs outstretched. Perhaps here Obata is focused on demonstrating the way that clothing drapes and catches the light for his students, as this is most likely 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