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Munio Makuuchi American, 1934–2000. On Boys day I 'I.D.' with Rocky Mountain Salmon . . . / . . . So where’s the Salmon?, 1985.

Questions and answers from Defiant Vision: Prints & poetry by Munio Makuuchi

September 17, 2019

In this series, Aprile Gallant, Senior Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs answers visitor questions about the SCMA exhibition Defiant Vision: Prints & Poetry by Munio Makuuchi. Visit the exhibition to pose a question in the comment book, then check the book and SCMA Insider for the answers! Our first question explores Makuuchi's selective use of color in his work.

Makuuchi Question, color

Question #1: Why are all the pictures in black, gray, and white?


Great question!

I wish the artist was here to answer that—it’s clear that working in black and white was important to his message. I think it may have been because he worked primarily with lines and he liked to contrast between black and white.

Look at the few color works in the show—how are they different? Do they strike you visually in different ways?

Whispers, Cries, Howls in a Doll's House
Whispers, Cries, Howls in a Doll’s House, ca. 1972–75. ©The Estate of Munio Makuuchi

Often, printing in color is more complicated. If you look at the work called Moon Catchers you can get a sense of this—that work was created with a separate plate for each color, so making the plates and printing the final work was an intricate process. This is one of the only full-color pieces in the exhibition.

Moon Catchers
Moon Catchers, 1999. ©The Estate of Munio Makuuchi

I suspect that Makuuchi liked the immediate, spontaneous, and direct expression of black lines on white paper.

What do you think?


Submitted by scmagen on September 17, 2019

wow! Love the colors in Moon Catchers! 

Submitted by Samanta on November 3, 2019

I must admit it's a first time I hear about Munio Makuuchi and his works. But thanx to your article I would love to see work called Moon Catchers in person, it looks really mysterious and so unusual. I used to draw when I was younger, my parents even gave me a small room in our property in Cyprus so I can make it as a place for creating. Loved those days but then with time I started to draw les and less every year.

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