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Obos I

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Obos I

1956

George Tsutakawa

born 1910, Seattle, Washington; died 1997 Seattle

Obos is a Japanese term for a pile of rocks, a configuration that reminds us of human presence and the power of creations wrought by human hands. It stands as the mysterious products of another’s imagination, evidence of the human need to leave one’s mark in the world. “I was here,” the Obos seems to say.

Tsutakawa has invoked Japanese cultural theory and artistic practice to elevate found objects to pure abstraction.
Teak
23 1/4 x 9 3/4 in. x 8 7/8 in.
Gift of Seattle Art Museum Guild
79.7
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
location
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum

Resources

Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Modern Art Pavilion, Tribute to Zoe Dusanne, Mar. 24 - May 8, 1977.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Northwest Traditions, 1978.

Osaka, Japan, National Museum of Art, Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan, Oct. 2 - Nov. 28, 1982 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Jan. 28 - Feb. 28, 1983).

Bellevue, Washington, Bellevue Art Museum, School of Art, University of Washington: 1920-1960, July 16 - Sept. 25, 1983.

Port Angeles, Washington, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, George Tsutakawa, Nov. 22 - Dec. 29, 1986.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Views and Visions in the Pacific Northwest, June 7 - Sept. 2, 1990.

Bellevue, Washington, Bellevue Art Museum, Eternal Laughter: A Sixty-Year Retrospective Of the Work Of George Tsutakawa, Sept. 15 - Nov. 2, 1990.

Seattle, Washington, Foster/White Gallery, George Tsutakawa, Jan. 6 - 30, 1994.

Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art Museum, Jet Dreams: The Northwest In The Fifties, Mar. 17 - June 4, 1995.

La Conner, Washington, Museum of Northwest Art, Northwest Art: Shaped by Hand, Shaped by the Spirit, Sept. 28 - Dec. 31, 1995.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Collection Highlights: 1945 To The Present, Sept. 12, 1996 - June 1, 1997.

New Brunswick, New Jersey, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, Mar. 23 - July 31, 1997.

Seattle, Washington, Henry Art Gallery, What It Meant to Be Modern: Seattle Art at Mid-Century, Oct. 15, 1999 - Jan. 23, 2000.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey: Smashing Forms and Mark Tobey and Friends, Nov. 16, 2002 - Apr. 6, 2003.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real, May 2, 2003 - Feb. 29, 2004.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Exceptionally Ordinary: Mingei 1920–2020, Dec. 14, 2019 - Nov. 8, 2020.
Published ReferencesJohns, Barbara. Modern Art from the Pacific Northwest in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum, 1990; cat. no. 13, p. 17.

Selected Works. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, p. 122.

Delson, Susan. "The Intimite Beauty of Honest Craft." Wall Street Journal, November 30 - December 1, 2019: p. C14, reproduced. [A version of this article appears online on November 27, 2019: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-intimate-beauty-of-honest-craft-11574870032.]

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.