Born in Japan in 1906, Paul Horiuchi came to America as a youth of fourteen and found work with the Union Pacific Railroad in Wyoming. He held the job for two decades, until World War II brought racist reaction, dislocation, and hardship to people of Japanese descent. And all the while he painted. Working the railroad by day, Horiuchi painted in any spare moments and eventually exhibited in Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland. When the war ended, he and his family settled in Seattle to make a new and permanent home. Here his art career began to take root--and with his discovery of collage, it burst into full bloom. Nature was his source of inspiration; collage was his metier. Acting on his friend Mark Tobey's recommendation that he use his Japanese heritage in his art, Horiuchi expressed the beauty of the natural landscape in abstract form. With painted and torn papers laid down on canvas or board, he produced art that ranged from monumental to intimate, from fluid motion to rich repose. Horiuchi gained national and international recognition for his work, as well as an admiring and devoted following in the Northwest. Paul Horiuchi died in 1999. This book provides a narrative of his life and major accomplishments, generously illustrated with historical photographs and works of art.
Barbara Johns , former chief curator at Tacoma Art Museum and former executive director of the Pilchuk Glass School, is an art historian and independent curator and museum consultant in Seattle, Washington. Her other book publications include Fired by Beauty: Anne Gould Hauberg.