Iri Maruki

On June 20, 1901, Iri Maruki was born in a small riverside farming village just upstream from the city of Hiroshima. During the prewar period, he belonged to a number of avant-garde artists groups, such as the Rekitei Art Association and the Bijutsu Bunka Association, and he earned a reputation for a unique style of suibokuga (ink wash painting) that incorporated influences from surrealist and abstract art. In 1941 he married the oil painter Toshiko Akamatsu. In 1945, the couple traveled to Hiroshima just days after the atomic bombing; they assisted surviving members of Iri’s family and were first-hand witnesses to the aftermath of the nuclear attack. Some years later, Iri and Toshi began collaborating on the “Hiroshima Panels,” completing 15 works in this series over the next 30 years. At the same time, Iri continued to paint large-scale suibokuga, many of which featured landscapes rendered in his signature style. Iri died peacefully on October 19, 1995 at the age of 94.