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Soichi Sunami, Portait of My Mother, c.1926

Soichi Sunami, who was also a photographer, studied under John Sloan at the Art Students League and exhibited his oil paintings at the Society of Independent Artists and Salons of America in the 1920s. Three of his paintings, this one depicting his mother in his hometown of Okayama Prefecture, “Nude,” and “Still Life,” were
included in this exhibition. The New York Shimpo wrote, “‘My Mother’ was painted from a distant, faint memory, and the nostalgic image of my mother, depicted through the thin brushstrokes of the artist’s hand, reveals a gentle, earnest feeling as an artist. The Nudes and Still Life show the artist’s drawing style. Through these three works, the artist is a person who is progressing, establishing himself in each step of the process. My mother, in particular, has been well received.” (Fujioka) The image of the mother is of exquisite taste, but the Nude and the Still Life show the craft of the artist who has constructed them with a simple touch. The Nudes are fascinating animated figures, and the sense of volume that is unique to the artist is skillfully expressed.” (Shimizu) (“Art Exhibition Review,” New York Shimpo, March 5, 1927).