Utah Museum of Fine Arts announce Chiura Obata: An American Modern

. April 17, 2018

The Utah Museum of Fine Arts presents Chiura Obata: An American Modern, an exhibition on view MAY 25, 2018 TO SEPTEMBER 2, 2018.

Chiura Obata was one of the most significant Japanese American artists of the twentieth century. Chiura Obata: An American Modern, a major retrospective of his work, features more than 150 watercolors, paintings, prints, and screens, including images he produced during internment at the Topaz War Relocation Center in Delta. Many of these works have never been on public display.

Born in Okayama, Japan, and working primarily in California, Obata emigrated to the U.S. in 1903 and embarked on a seven-decade career that saw not only the growth of an international American art but also xenophobic laws and the mass incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Obata emerged as a leading figure in Northern California’s art scene, serving as an influential art professor at the University of California Berkeley for twenty-two years, and as a founding director of art schools at the Tanforan Assembly Center in California and the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah during the Japanese American Internment (1942–45).

Drawing from private and public collections, the retrospective showcases representative works from every decade of Obata’s career.

Curated by Shi Pu Wang, associate professor of art history and visual culture at the University of California, Merced. Luke Kelly, UMFA associate curator of collections and antiquities, organized the exhibition for Salt Lake City. Organized by the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC, Santa Barbara, where the exhibition is on view through April 29.

After the UMFA, the exhibition will travel to the Okayama Prefectural Museum of Art in Okayama, Japan (January 18–March 10, 2019); the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California (June 23–September 29, 2019); and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC (November 2019–April 2020).

More information: https://umfa.utah.edu

Chiura Obata (American, b. Japan, 1885–1975), Grand Canyon, May 15, 1940, watercolor on silk, 17 1/2 x 21 3/4 in., Amberand Richard Sakai Collection

Category: Fine Art

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