Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Purple Tornado at LACMA

LACMA's American galleries have recently put on view Whirling Forms (1935) by the unclassifiable Abraham Joel Tobias. A recent gift of the Carolyn Tobias estate, it's a purple tornado poised chronologically between John Steuart Curry's Tornado Over Kansas (1929) and MGM's The Wizard of Oz (1939). Enclosed in a shaped canvas/frame, and more "post-modern" than American Scene,  it's sure to spark interest in the artist. Who was this guy?!?
Nearby is a significant Abstract Expressionist painting LACMA hasn't shown in recent decades, so far as I know. Any guesses who created it? Scroll down for the answer.


























It's by Matsumi Kanemitsu (1922-1992)—"Mike," as Jackson Pollock called him. Kanemitsu's multifarious life spanned birth in Utah; coming of age in Hiroshima; Executive Order 9066 detention camps; U.S. army service in Europe; study with Léger in Paris and Yashuo Kuniyoshi in New York; the NY school (friend to de Kooning, Kline, and Pollock); 1960s Tamarind Lithography with June Wayne; teacher at L.A.'s Chouinard and Otis Art Institute. LACMA had a small show of Kanemitsu prints in 2008.

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