Jiro Takamatsu

  • Born 1936 in Tokyo, Japan
  • Died 1998 in in Tokyo, Japan

Takamatsu Jiro was an influential artist and art theorist. He majored in oil painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, graduating in 1958. During the 1960s and 1970s he developed a diverse body of work, including sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, and performance art. He was a founding member of the legendary artist collective Hi Red Center (1963–1964) and a key figure in the development of the Mono-ha (School of Things) movement (1967–1979). Takamatsu Jiro questioned the material and metaphysical foundations of art within his own practice, while challenging the boundaries between art and life (Moderu 1000-en (chū) [Model, 1000-Yen Note], 1963). Besides his actions and public interventions in Tokyo, he primarily worked in series, of which his “Kage” (Shadow) paintings (1964–98) and his series “Shashin no Shashin” (Photograph of Photograph; 1972–73) are among the most influential. Besides being an artist and theorist, Takamatsu also taught at the Tamabijutsudaigaku (Tama Art University), Tokyo, from 1968 to 1972. His first solo show at the Tokyo Gallery in 1966 was followed by seven other exhibitions at this venue; he also participated in many important group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (1968), Paris Biennale (1969), and Documenta, Kassel (1977).