Jiro Takamatsu



Jirō Takamatsu (高松 次郎, Takamatsu Jirō, 20 February 1936 – 25 June 1998) was one of the most important postwar Japanese artists. Takamatsu used photography, sculpture, painting, drawing, and performance to fundamentally investigate the philosophical and material conditions of art. Takamatsu's practice was dedicated to the critique of cognition and perception, through the rendering and variation of morphological devices, such as shadow, tautology, appropriation, perceptual and perspective distortion and representation. Takamatsu's conceptual work can be understood through his notions of the Zero Dimension, which renders an object or form to observe its fundamental geometrical components. Takamatsu isolated these smallest constituent elements, asserting that these elements produce reality, or existence. For Takamatsu the elementary particle represents “the ultimate of division” and also “emptiness itself,” like the a line within a painting—there appears to be nothing more beyond the line itself. Yet, Takamatsu's end goal was not to just prove the presence or object-ness of these elements, but rather used them as a way to challenge and prove the limits of human perception, leading to his fixation on “absence” or the things that are unobservable.

The impact of Takamatsu's practice also has to be considered in terms of his contributions to the avant garde art scenes through his individual practice and work with collectives, as well as the legibility of his work in the discourse of conceptual art and thus the broader international art world.

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