b'DEFIANT LINESthe Prints of M U N I O M AKU U C H IAPRILE GALLANTI WAS TRANSFIXED by my first encounter with Munio Makuuchis print, On Boys day, I I.D. with Rocky Mountain Salmon . . . /. . . So wheres the Salmon?(fig. 1). This large-scale print was executed in drypoint, a linear printmaking technique in which the image is scratched into a metal plate with a sharp tool, and then inked and printed. The flexibility and variety of Makuuchis lines are as-tonishing, ranging from the thick, velvety outlines of the fishes bodies to the deft circular strokes that capture the texture of their skin or the bubbles in the water. Fish swim, leap, bend, and twist across the image, except for one that hangs, in-ert, from a pole at the center. Two mountains loom in the distance, with a stylized sun on the left. The curious title seems a fragment from a larger story, prompting the viewer to ponder, among other things, why the artist identifies with salmon. This complex and accomplished print struck me as not only technically dazzling but conceptually compelling, leading me to wonder why I was unfamiliar with the artist and his work. The story that I found is as multifaceted as the artist himself, outlining a history of how he pursued his vision against considerable odds. Munio Makuuchi (19342000) was a printmaker, poet, painter, and maker of aerogami (a term he copyrighted for his own technique of making flying birds and animals from folded and cut paper). Although he received multiple academic degrees, he often lived and worked outside the mainstream. He left few impres-sions of his prints or written documents about his work, except for a 258-page unpublished magnum opus. Those who knew him best would often describe him as mercurial, erratic, aggressive, and obsessive. 1Makuuchis graphic output is the primary source of documentation for his creative life and artistic development. A close chronological reading of Makuuchis graphics FIGUREOn Boys day, I I.D. with Rocky Mountain Salmon . . . / . . . So wheres the Salmon? CHECKLIST #2611'