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Emiko Nakano

American, 1925-1990


Emiko Nakano

Bay Region, 1956

Oil on canvas
36 x 44 in
91.4 x 111.8 cm


Emiko Nakano was born in Sacramento, California, to immigrant parents from Japan in 1925. She  was one of six children and grew up in Chico, California. Nakano was a high school student when  the United States entered World War II, which resulted in her family being incarcerated first at  the Merced Assembly Center in California and then at Amache in Colorado. After three years, the  family returned to Richmond, California, and she enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts in  the fall of 1947 through the summer of 1951. Nakano studied under Clyfford Still, James Budd  Dixon, Edward Corbett, Richard Diebenkorn, Hassel Smith, and Elmer Bischoff, painting  landscapes with abstracted geometric compositions. She also spent one summer in 1949 at the  University of California, Berkeley, and one summer in 1952 at Mills College in Oakland. From  1951 to 1959, Nakano participated in the San Francisco Art Association oil painting, drawing &  print, and watercolor annual exhibitions. By the mid-1950s, her work became increasingly  abstracted and incorporated bright colors as well as sumi-e ink. Nakano won prizes in the San  Francisco Women Artists shows held at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1953 and 1956, as  well as in the San Francisco Art Association annuals in 1953, 1954, and 1957. She has exhibited  and is in the collections of Whitney, Metropolitan, San Francisco Museum of Moden Art, De Young  Museum, Long Beach Museum, Monterey Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum, and Stanford  University Museum.