Theme/Style – Impressionism, Modernism, Regionalism, Expressionism, Abstraction,
still lifes, portraits
Media – Oils, watercolors, lithographs
Artistic Focus – Serisawa’s early works were romantic – still lifes and portraits painted in a style influenced by classic European art. His work up to 1941 had a decidedly Modernist, even Regionalist flair. But history – both personal and political – intervened, as Serisawa later returned to his Asian roots and began painting in an abstract style influenced by the teachings of Zen philosophy, Oriental culture, and the structure and form offered in his study of calligraphy.
Career Highlights –
- Born in Japan, Sueo Serisawa moved to Seattle in 1918 to join his father, painter Yoichi Serisawa, and began painting at age 8 with his father’s guidance.
- Serisawa later studied art under George Barker, as well as at the Otis Art Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago.
- On the day that his one-man show opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, America was plunged into war; the date was December 7, 1941.
- The subsequent internment of Japanese-Americans sent the Serisawa family to New York City, to avoid confinement. As difficult as that time was, Serisawa later said that his time in New York was a significant influence on his development as an artist.
- Later in his career, Serisawa taught art at Scripps College, the Laguna Beach School of Art and the Palm Springs Museum of Art.
- Serisawa’s works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.
Bibliographic references are available upon request.