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Jiro Takamatsu: Trajectory of Work

After majoring in oil painting at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music and graduating in 1958, Jiro Takamatsu (1938-1998) began showing his work in the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition in 1961. In 1962, he formed the art group Hi-Red Center with Natsuyuki Nakanishi and Genpei Akasegawa, and staged a series of "happenings." Beginning in the mid-'60s, Takamatsu won a succession of awards in domestic exhibitions and represented Japan in foreign events such as the Venice Biennale (1968) and Documenta (1977). This led him to become an artist of renown both inside and outside Japan.

Unrestricted by methods or materials, Takamatsu was particularly adept at developing series of works. In multiple, continuing series such as "Point", "Shadow", "Perspective", "Oneness, "Compound", "Space in Two Dimensions", and "Shape", Takamatsu frequently attempted to express the disparity between physical reality and visual perception. This was intended to put an end to the anthropocentrism of the 1960s, and to create a new type of art for the 1970s in which the relationship between words and things was seen in structural terms.

In the 2000s, a number of solo exhibitions, including a few retrospectives, of Takamatsu's works were held at museums. Complete collections of his drawings and writings were also published. Among these were many works that had been stored in Takamatsu's studio without ever being shown publicly, which suddenly provided us with a much more complete picture of the artist.

Taking these findings into account, this retrospective is not only structured around Takamatsu's paintings, prints, and three-dimensional works but also provides a reexamination of his drawings, book and magazine designs, illustrations, and documentary photographs. The exhibition also places special emphasis on the way in which the drawings Takamatsu made on a daily basis exerted a subtle and comprehensive effect on his practice; how the artist viewed his book designs and illustrations as opportunities to present a special type of work; and attempts to understand the actual conditions surrounding Takamatsu's creative process based on works that are only extant in documentary form.

The exhibition includes approximately 90 paintings, three-dimensional objects, and prints, 280 drawings, 40 books, magazines, and illustrations, and 40 documentary photographs. Using a timeline, the event focuses on almost annual shifts in Takamatsu's practice to shed light on the process of change and expansion in his art, which would be difficult to understand based solely on his widely known completed works.

  • Organized by The National Museum of Art, Osaka
  • Sponsored by Daikin Foundation for Contemporary Arts
  • Cooperated by The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu

Works

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |

Jiro Takamatsu, Point No.20, 1961-62, Aomori Museum of Art
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates

Jiro Takamatsu, Oneness of Marble, 1971, The National Museum of Art, Osaka
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates
Photo: Tadasu Yamamoto

Jiro Takamatsu, In the Form of Square, 1973, The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates

Jiro Takamatsu, Shadow, 1977, The National Museum of Art, Osaka
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates
Photo: Norihiro Ueno

Jiro Takamatsu, Space in Two Dimensions No.1038, 1982, Fukuyama Museum of Art
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates

Jiro Takamatsu, Andromeda, 1989, The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates

Jiro Takamatsu, Form / Origin No.1385, 1996, The National Museum of Art, Osaka
©The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates
Photo: Kazuo Fukunaga

Admission

Opening Hours

10:00 - 17:00 (last admission 16:30), Fridays until 19:00 (last admission 18:30).

Closed

Mondays except May 4, 2015.

Admission Fee

Adults : 900 Yen (600 Yen)
University students : 500 Yen (250 Yen)

  • *( ) admission for groups of more than 20 people.
  • *Admission free for visitor under 18 years, mentally or physically disabled people with one attendant.