national museum of modern art in tokyo host a major retrospective of work by jiro takamatsu

2 December 2014
National Museum of Modern in Tokyo are hosting a major retrospective of the Japanese artist Jiro Takamatsu, which opened on 2 December 2014. The exhibition titled ‘Jiro Takamatsu: Mysteries' surveys the career of one Japan's leading artists of the twentieth century.

Born in 1936 in Tokyo, Takamatsu was an influential artist, theorist, and teacher in 1960s and 1970s Japan. His work combined subversive and playful aspects of Dada and Surrealism with an idiosyncratic use of Minimalism's refined visual language. After finishing studies in oil painting at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1958, Takamatsu worked in a range of mediums, including sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, and performance, and probed the material and metaphysical foundations of artistic practice. He died in 1998.

Like Japan's Gutai Bijutsu Ky!kai (Gutai Art Association, 1954-72), a group that sought to move away from museums, galleries, and other institutional settings, Takamatsu created public interventions, or activities outside the confines of exhibitions. With artists Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Takamatsu formed the collective Hi Red Center (1963-64), which carried out actions in Tokyo to call attention to issues faced in the postwar urban climate.

Takamatsu is also widely associated with the movement ‘Mono-Ha' (‘School of Things', 1967-79). Seeking to "reveal the world as it is," Mono-Ha engaged the world through gesture, action, process, and experimentation, rather than formal studio-art methods or finished artworks.

The exhibition runs until 1 March 2015.

Jiro Takamatsu at National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo.