Small Inlet

NagaiThomas - Small Inlet.JPG

Dublin Core



The size of this inlet isn’t clear because of perspectival ambiguitiess: if the two houses at left are modest in scale, then the boats across from them either are tiny or far in the distance. Regardless, in the distance we see perhaps three or four dozen homes surrounding a cozy body of water, gentle hills behind them. Another odd feature of the monoprint is the lush, green foliage in the trees at left compared to several others in a harsher hue.

About the Artist: Born in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, Nagai immigrated to the US in 1906, initially with a plan to study law but soon returning to his love of art—a grandfather and uncle both had been painters. In New York he studied at the Art Students’ League with Thomas Hart Benton for five years, whose influence can be seen in Nagai’s “Picnic” (1929) with its treatment of massy figures arranged in deep space. In 1928 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s art critic, Helen Appleton Read, singled out Nagai’s painting “Tea” as one of three “discoveries” from more than 1,000 exhibits at the Society of Independent Artists. He went on to exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery, Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Musuem of Art, and the ACA Gallery, among many venues. His “Japanese Landscape” appeared in a 1939 FAP exhibit on Long Island, focused upon farms and rural life; fellow NDG artists Louis Harris, Bena Frank, and Herman Copen also appeared. Many of In 1936 Nagai signed the Call for the American Artists’ Congress, an anti-fascist popular front organization. Near the end of his life Nagai and his artist wife Paula Rosen retired to Orlando, FL area. 1 work at the Whitney Museum of American Art. 2 more images at FAP.


Nagai, Tomizo (“Thomas”), 1886-1966








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