American, born Japan, 1893–1953
Yasuo Kuniyoshi (American, born Japan, 1893–1953)
Oil on canvas
36 x 57 inches
Purchase with Henry B. Scott Fund
A guitar, magnifying glass, torn sack, watch, piece of paper, and moth in a jar are the abandoned treasures the artist brings together to create a melancholy sense of loss. Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s artworks trigger memory and imagination through unusual and ambiguous juxtapositions of ordinary objects. Some scholars have suggested that Kuniyoshi’s surrealist still lifes represent his personal reactions to the U.S. internment of Japanese residents during World War II. Such a policy would have resonated intensely with Kuniyoshi, who had emigrated from Japan several years prior in 1906.
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