The Tretiak Collection

Japan. Haku Maki. Alphabet A-Z.  1967. Research Note 11a.

Japan. Haku Maki. Alphabet A-Z. 1967. Research Note 11a.

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Directory: Fine Art: Prints: Pre 1970: Item # 1208715

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In the mid-1960s, Haku Maki was firmly launching his career as an important Japanese print maker. He did a series of prints of which a long and key series was the Alphabet A – Z. In turn, the Alphabet was the first series of what came to be many series of prints, all of which Maki called the Poem series. Prints in the Poem series continued to be produced until 1972. He produced all of the Alphabet in 1966 or part of it in that year and part in the next. Even at this old age I do not know the precise years. Furthermore, after a long effort of collecting the series, I do not have images for all 26 letters. I have never seen Poems G I J K L M N O S. The images are some of Maki’s quite good prints but none laid the ground work for important other work. I cannot make a case that Poem U,a square woman, is a strong example of what the kanji for woman should be. The pink sun and the quarter moon used in Poem D were used later on but I do not feel that is because they were used successfully in this series. The black and white image is from David J.Finkelstein in NY. Here we show Poem A B C D E F H P Poem D's crescent moon appeared elsewhere. We show one example. C-1 was re-discovered in a chance find in our files. It is prime Japanese hieroglyphics: hoki moji or a kind of pointillism. Copyright 2013 Daniel Tretiak