A tall and striking woodblock print of a cluster of clematis printed on a background of gold by Hajime Namiki; this is entitled “Clematis No 2” of a numbered edition of 180 from the collection of Mrs. Ronald Reagan (Nancy Reagan).
The Woodblock Print
One of two prints we acquired with the stated provenance on the back of the frame “Collection: Mrs. Ronald Reagan”. While not part of the Christie’s auction in 2016, we can certainly see these pieces are within their style family. We have removed the piece from the frame to protect it from discolorations due to the materials used in the framing but have kept the backing and will provide that with the piece. This print measures 10″ by 13.5″, with the visual image 8.5″ by 11″. It is pencil signed and numbered, 83/180.
There is no toning or discolorations, only two remnants of tape on the verso from where it was affixed to the matting/framing. Rich gold background with the underlying color, as well as solid treatment of the overlaying flower.
About the Artist
Hajime Namiki was born in 1947 in Tokyo and began studying sculpture as a student of the artist Shigeru Ogura in 1965. In 1974 Namiki became a member of the Japanese Association of Sculptors and since then he has had several works displayed at important exhibitions.
The sophistication of his work in the subtle art of color woodblock printing was not recognized until about 1978. Namiki looks for new paths within the traditional process of creating prints; his prints often have a limited color palette to nuances of unique colors or he creates low key contrast to lift the subject matter from the environment. Namiki also creates a special effect using a golden and silver leaf background, on which he arranges the print in oil based colors.