In the Abstract: Summer 2020
A Collection of Haku Maki Prints

Haku Maki

Born Maejima Tadaaki in Ibaraki prefecture in 1924, the artist Haku Maki relocated a great deal within his lifetime, moving to Kanagawa, Shizuoka, and Tokyo.  After WWII he graduated from Ibaraki Teacher's College in 1945 and took the role of Vice Principal at an elementary school.  He was a participant of the printmaking group, Ichimoku-kai (First Thursday [or wood] Society), which had been founded in 1946 by the influential sosaku hanga ('creative print') artist Onchi Koshiro (1891-1955).  There were never more than 20 members in the group which included contemporaries such as Toko Shinoda (b. 1913), and the informal gatherings ceased around 1950.  Not long after, he chose the name Haku Maki (lit. 'white roll') at some point in the early 1950's.  In 1954, Maki married Takako Umeno, who along with his sister-in-law, became his primary assistant.  Maki's mixed media printing technique used cement relief attached to carved woodblocks or cardboard and deep embossing printed on double-layered paper.  His compositions are primarily derived from abstractions of pottery shapes or kanji and old texts in various calligraphy styles.  He participated in the first and second Tokyo International biennales in 1957 and 1960, and other international exhibitions.  In 1962 a Maki calligraphic print was selected by a committee of art experts from the United States and Japan to be included in Michener's monumental and lavish folio featuring 10 tipped-in original sosaku hanga prints, The Modern Japanese Print: An Appreciation, which was issued in a limited edition of 475.  In 1969 his international reputation was further enhanced by his illustrations for Festive Wine, a book of ancient Japanese poems published by John Weatherhill, Inc.  Haku Maki's work is found in numerous Western museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


This small collection of Haku Maki prints were found in a portfolio in the Estate of Haruno Tsuruoka (1924-2017), the daughter-in-law of the artist Kakunen Tsuruoka, whose paintings this gallery was honored to present in the March 2019 exhibition, Captive Artist: Watercolors by Kakunen Tsuruoka (1892-1977). The Tsuruoka family took a keen interest in sosaku hanga and contemporary Japanese prints, offering works through the family-run Daruma Frame Shop and Gallery which was a local institution on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


James A. Michener, The Modern Japanese Print: An Appreciation, 1962, plate 10
Frances Blakemore, Who's Who in Modern Japanese Prints, 1975, pp. 99-100
Helen Merritt and Nanako Yamada, Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints: 1900-1975, 1992, p. 85
Daniel Tretiak, The Life and Works of Haku Maki, 2007

Haku Maki Poem 70-66 Sato
Haku Maki Sugata Figure-6
Haku Maki Proportion-9
Haku Maki Poem 69-22
Haku Maki Emanation 7-1
Haku Maki Emanation 7-3
Haku Maki 66-3
Haku Maki 65-10
Haku Maki Work-621
Haku Maki Poem 70-36 Ichiyo
Haku Maki Poem 70-36 Ichiyo
Haku Maki Remain-D
Haku Maki Poem 70-7 Oyoso

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site last updated
January 21, 2022

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475