The Power and Precarious Balancing Acts of Jiro Takamatsu
Jiro Takamatsu was an influential artist, known for breaking down the boundaries between art and life in experimental art forms and guerrilla-style performances, in addition to sculpture, drawing, photography, and painting. Takamatsu was a founding member of the Hi Red Center collective alongside Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi in 1963, and a key figure in the development of the Mono-Ha movement (the “school of things” associated with Lee Ufan). His most celebrated works were the “Shadow Paintings”, begun 1964, in which he painted the isolated shadows of solitary figures and items in delicate grey. These were inspired by images of shadows in 19th-century Japanese woodcuts, as well as the way in which screen doors capture the silhouettes.