Jiro Takamatsu

1936 –1998

Jiro Takamatsu, 'Oneness of Concrete' 1971
Oneness of Concrete 1971
© Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, courtesy Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo
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Biography

Jiro Takamatsu (高松 次郎, Takamatsu Jirō, 20 February 1936 – 25 June 1998) 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.

Born in 1936 in Tokyo, 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 his signature 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.

In 1966 the Tokyo Gallery held his first solo exhibition and later presented seven more solo shows between 1969 and 1987. He represented Japan at the Venice Biennale (Carlo Cardozzo Prize, 1968) and exhibited at the Paris Biennial (1969); São Paulo Biennial (1973); and Documenta 6, Kassel, West Germany (1977). He was awarded the Grand Prize at the Tokyo Print Biennial (1972). Numerous major retrospectives have occurred at the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (1999); Chiba City Museum of Art, Japan (2000); Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo (2004); and Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Japan (2004). His work has been included at group shows at the Guggenheim Museum (1971); Centre Pompidou, Paris (1986); Yokohoma Art Museum, Japan (1994); and the Guggenheim Museum SoHo (1994).

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