McCaffrey Fine Art

Jiro Takamatsu (1936-98) was one of the most celebrated artists and teachers working in Japan during the 1960’s and 70’s and his innovations within the realms of performance art, minimalism, and post-minimalism would become legendary. Creating a diverse body of work that encompassed performance, painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography, he challenged the conception of what art could be.

Takamatsu adopted a highly conceptual and distinctly Duchampian approach that allowed for the creation of works that are lyrical and poetic and which simultaneously comment on the process of art making itself. By stripping works back to their material and philosophical foundations he posed questions about the nature of art and perception; and in building works up from those fundamental cores, he re-invented genres. From 1970-77, Takamatsu engaged in an interrogation and re-contextualization of drawing. McCaffrey Fine Art will present fourteen outstanding examples of such works on paper in a solo exhibition at Independent in March 2012.

Two works provide particular insight into the artist’s philosophy and practice. In Tape, 1971 and Oneness of Paper, 1972, Takamatsu tore and re-assembled paper to yield entirely different outcomes. In Tape the artist tore a painted blue gesso sheet vertically into two parts, and then repaired the tear with brown tape. In Oneness of Paper Takamatsu tore out the center of the sheet and ripped it into hundreds of pieces before gluing it back together. These simple acts    literally deconstructed the traditional language of drawing, and, employing Dada-ist precedent, created a new vocabulary with its own conceptual coherence, philosophical reasoning, and aesthetic significance.

Takamatsu represented Japan at the 1968 Venice Biennale, winning the Carlo Cardazzo Prize, and also exhibited at the 1969 Biennale de Paris. Between 1968 and 1972, he taught at Tama Art University, Tokyo, and was a key figure in the development of the Mono-Ha movement. Takamatsu’s work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives throughout Japan, including the National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka (1999); the Chiba City Museum of Art, Chiba (2000); the Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo; and Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka (2004). A Takamatsu retrospective is planned for 2014-15 to tour several museums in Japan and the United States.

For further information and images, please contact Lisa Panzera: Tel: 212-988-2200 /

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New York, NY 10065

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