Jiro Takamatsu was an influential artist, theorist, and teacher in 1960s and 1970s Japan. Highly analytical, intellectual, yet playful, his work combines subversive elements of Surrealism and Dada along with aspects of Minimalism and Existentialism. Early in his artistic career, along with fellow artists Genpei Akasegawa (see lot 66) and Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Takamatsu founded the collective Hi Red Centre (1963-64), which launched a series of actions in Tokyo. Satirical performances performed in public spaces; these actions were an expression of anxiety about the rapid restructuring of Japan and to critique the country’s post-war mass capitalist society.
Takamatsu studied oil painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, graduating in 1958, after which he worked in an impressive range of mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and performance, leaving an extremely large body of work, much of which is now in museum collections. A self-proclaimed “anti-artist”, he also taught at Tama Art University, Tokyo (1968-72).
Takamatsu’s four decades of complex creative activity culminated in a body of work which is divided and subdivided into numerous series, to which the artist himself gave titles and many of which can be fixed to a point in time. Takamatsu’s early “growth” period has been classified as 1960-1976 and the series of this period are “Point”, “Shadow”, “Perspective”, “Oneness”, “Compound” and “Space in Two Dimensions”.
This work was created as part of Takamatsu’s “Compound” series 1974-1977. This was a period of two-dimensional depictions of “Compound” forms which were subsequently worked into three-dimensional works. A solo exhibition in 1976 at London Gallery, Tokyo showed a group of three-dimensional “Compound” works.