Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more Takamatsu Jiro 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 Akasegawa Genpei and Nakanishi Natsuyuki, 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 postwar mass capitalist society.1Takamatsu 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.2 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”. All three works in this sale are from this important period in the artist’s career.1. Hayashi Michio, Tracing the Graphic in Postwar Japanese Art, p. 101-104, in Tokyo 1955-1970 A New Avant-Garde, Exhibition Catalogue, MOMA, (New York, 2012)2. Nakanishi Hiroyuki, The Perspective of Jiro Takamatsu: Together with His Drawing, Book Design and Illustration Works in Chronological Order, in Exhibition catalogue, Jiro Takamatsu: Trajectory of Work, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, (Tokyo, 2015), p. 179-186Property of an American Collector
Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998)

Shadow No. 199

Details
Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998)
Shadow No. 199
Signed on the reverse Jiro Takamatsu '68 No. 199
Executed in 1968
Oil and hooks on board
55 x 46 cm.
Provenance
Purchased by the present owner from Tokyo Gallery, Japan, 1969
Special notice

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Lot Essay

Takamatsu began his most famous series “Shadow” in 1963 and it was the only series that was continued over a long period until his final years, although it was only during the 1960s that it was a primary focus. Often working in oil, or enamel and acrylic paint on wood board, he started by delicately depicting the shadows of human subjects – hands, a woman, a child, a self-portrait. He then experimented with large interior scenes as well as smaller works of shadows cast by everyday objects such as keys hanging from hooks, coat hangers, hairbrushes and bottles. By presenting a shadow of something unseen, one is left acutely aware of what is absent.

Shadow paintings from the artist's early period such as this are extremely rare outside of museum collections.

A similar shadow work executed in 1966, and from the collection of the Niigata City Art Museum, was exhibited at The National Museum of Art, Osaka, 7th April - 5th July 2015, and illustrated in Jiro Takamatsu: Trajectory of Work, exhibition catalogue, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, (Suiseisha, Tokyo, 2015), p. 43, no. 58
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