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Fine Art, Modern, Abstract, Color Fields, Jacob Semiatin, Watercolors

Jacob Semiatin (1915-2003)
Abstract Paintings
American: 1982-1993
Watercolor on paper
Each signed “Semiatin” on front and dated in pencil verso
22 x 15 inches each (small sheet)
30 x 22 inches each (large sheet)
Provenance: Estate of Jacob Semiatin
$475 each (small sheet)
$750 each (large sheet)

A collection of lively and colorful abstract watercolor paintings by New York artist Jacob Semiatin. The compositions freely combine and contrast different motifs and a wide variety of watercolor techniques: opaque linear and geometric forms, stippled textures, and transparent, flowing washes. These are vibrant, spontaneous works, often with a playful, improvisatory spirit reminiscent of the artist Paul Klee (1879-1940). Semiatin’s approach relates to “color field painting,” a style and movement that emerged in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s, when Semiatin was first active in abstract painting. Color field painting further evolved in the second half of the 20th century in the works of numerous major artists. Semiatin was prolific throughout this period. All of the paintings offered here were owned by the family of the artist until recently, as part of his estate. His later works of the 1990s, the focus of this offering, often have a bold, albeit whimsical, “retro” 1960s/1970s sensibility.

Product description continues below.


Jacob Semiatin was an American painter working in watercolor, acrylic and oil. Born in Ireland to Hungarian Jewish parents, his family immigrated in 1920 to New York City, where he spent the rest of his life. In the early years of his career (late 1930s and 1940s) he exhibited with the Brooklyn Society of Artists. After serving in the military during World War II, he returned to New York and switched from figurative to abstract painting. His first solo exhibition of abstractions was held at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in New York. Semiatin also exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, which today has his work in their collection. His works are also in the collections of The Houston Museum of Modern Art and The Jewish Museum of Dublin, Ireland.

Condition and details: All of the paintings in our collection were until recently owned by the family of the artist, though his estate. They have not been framed before and are generally in fresh excellent condition with vibrant colors. A few have minor soft creases, faint stray marks (some restored), lightly flaked paint, all unobtrusive. A few have minor short marginal tears restored verso. They are signed by the artist on the front and on the backside are dated in pencil in the artist’s hand. Each work stands well on its own, though due to their uniform size the works could also be framed and presented uniformly, in pairs, or as a larger grouping.

Additional information


20th Century