Yasuo Kuniyoshi (American, born japan, 1889 - 1953)
circa 1924. Oil on canvas, 20 1/2 x 30 1/2". 20 1/2 x 30 1/2"
Yasuo Kuniyoshi came to the United States from Japan in 1906. He studied art in Los Angeles and New York, taught at the New York Art Students League, and spent many summers in Maine. This work is thoroughly Modernist in its simplified forms and expressive abstraction and in its absence of linear perspective. The low-key colors and strong outlines and the emphatically separated objects are characteristic of traditional eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Japanese art. The swimmer is an allusion to bas- reliefs of ancient Egypt and Assyria in which sea nymphs often swim among water plants.