Jules Pascin / Yasuo Kuniyoshi

The great French painter Jules Pascin lived in the US from 1914 to 1920 to avoid being conscripted into the first World War. He became an American citizen in 1920 supported by Alfred Stieglitz and Maurice Sterne. He taught for a time at the Telfair Academy in Savannah, Georgia. He had a large effect on certain American artists, among them Yasuo Kuniyoshi, who Pascin encouraged to paint from the figure instead of from his imagination. Here is some work by the two, both marvelous painters.

Kuniyoshi, in the years between the two world wars, was one of the most esteemed artists in America. While Kuniyoshi became an active opponent of Japanese militarism after their invasion of China in 1937, it didn’t protect him from the racist treatment all Japanese-Americans were subjected to after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His bank account was frozen and he was declared an “enemy alien”. He wasn’t put into a concentration camp, as many Japanese-Americans were, presumably due to his fame as an artist (in 1947 he was named in the list of the 10 Most Significant Living American Artists by Look Magazine). He spent the war years making pro-American broadcasts to Japanese audiences on Voice of America and working drawings savaging Japanese militarism. He died in 1950, at the age of 63, in the middle of his application for American citizenship.





About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
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