Jiro Takamatsu

Born in 1936 in Tokyo, Takamatsu became one of the most influential artists making art in Japan during the 1960s and 1970s. Working in the fertile ground between Dada, Surrealism, and Minimalism for almost four decades, Takamatsu used photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, and performance to create fundamental investigations into the philosophical and material origins of art.

Takamatsu formed the legendary collective Hi Red Center in 1963 with Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi, participating in actions carried out in Tokyo that sought to eliminate the boundary between art and life. In 1964, he began making Shadow Paintings (which he continued until the end of his life), a critical inquiry into the formal genesis of painting. In 1972–73, he created the seminal series Photograph of Photograph, which raised questions regarding issues of appropriation and memory. Between 1968 and 1972, he taught at Tama Art University, Tokyo, and was a key figure in the development of the Mono-Ha movement. He represented Japan at the 1968 Venice Biennale and exhibited at the 1969 Biennale de Paris, as well as at Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany, in 1977.

Takamatsu’s work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, including posthumously at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, 1999; Chiba City Museum of Art, 2000; Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo, 2004; and Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka, 2004. He died in 1998.

Selected Artworks

June 19, 2017

Why Old Women Have Replaced Young Men as the Art World’s Darlings

Artsy Editorial by Anna Louie Sussman

Seeing the retrospective in Paris convinced McCaffrey, the longtime collector and gallerist, that he needed to bring her (Carol Rama) work to the U.S. market. He mounted a show of nearly 50 works from between 1938 and 1945 in September 2016. “Unless you have recognition in the U.S., you don’t really have a market,” he says. “We showed Ramas this time last year in Basel and Americans had no awareness.” This year, his booth at Art Basel in Basel placed Rama alongside the Gutai artist Kazuo Shiraga, as both artists’ work addressed life under totalitarianism by seeking to liberate the body and its functions. Read More
June 16, 2017

Gutai’s spectacular rise—and potential fall

The Art Newspaper by Matthew Wilcox

Crucial in Gutai’s sudden boom, in McCaffrey’s view, was the fact that the group had essentially been ignored in the US since the 1950s. “Look at the market for Italian post-war work, or back to the late 1980s, when the German Neo-Expressionists started to make an impact in the US. There are these discrepancies in information and knowledge that pop up.” Read More