Jiro Takamatsu


pencil, colored paper, and paper
20 x 14 1/4 inches

One of the most important artists working in Japan in the 1960s, 70s, and beyond, Jiro Takamatsu pursued a number of disciplines, among them sculpture, photography, painting, and drawing. In 1963, Takamatsu formed the Hi Red Center collective with two other artists, and later he was a key figure in the Mono-ha (“School of Things”) group. Over the years, Takamatsu’s work has incorporated elements of Dada, Surrealism, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and performance, and he moved freely between formal and conceptual artistic investigations. In Oneness of Paper, Takamatsu has carefully torn pieces out of the center of a sheet of black paper. He then adhered them back in the center of the sheet, though the torn paper fibers now show evidence of their transformed state. In this work, Takamatsu, like many artists of this era, sought not to create a wholly new object, but to reveal the inherent properties of the material itself. This piece explores an idea that was important to Takamatsu throughout his career: the paper is still a single sheet and maintains it oneness, though it is now simply in a different state of existence. A subtle work, Takamatsu’s piece offers a meditation on materiality, presence, and time. Takamatsu represented Japan at the 1968 Venice Biennale where he won the Carlo Cardazzo Prize. Numerous retrospectives of his work include those at the National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka (1999); the Chiba City Museum of Art (2000); the Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo; and Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Fukuoka (2004).