Jiro Takamatsu - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 25, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    As a key member of the Mono-Ha movement and founder of the legendary art collective, Hi Red Center, Jiro Takamatsu was perhaps the leader of Japanese avant-garde in the 20th century. Working in the fertile balances between Dada, Surrealism and Minimalism and across the disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography in an oeuvre spanning four decades, Takamatsu sought to break traditional boundaries between high art and quotidian objects – what the artist himself called ‘a descent into the everyday’ (nihijo-sei eno kako).

    Takamatsu’s most celebrated works are his Shadow Paintings, a series begun in 1964 as a critical inquiry into the genesis of painting itself. Inspired by 19th century Japanese painting and woodcuts, the artist sought to investigate the formal underpinnings of the practice through the delicate rendering of human form as shadows. However such works also took on darker undertones, as they recall figural imprints left on the walls of Hiroshima upon its nuclear destruction in 1945. Shadow No. 1445 is a later piece from the series, yet undeniably powerful in its composition. Purged of representation and allegorical understandings, Takamatsu employs soft, hazy contours to create the impression of his close friend and mentor Yoshishige Saito – a prominent post-war artist – smoking a cigarette. While leaving enough ambiguity to allow the creation of one’s own imagined narrative, Shadow No. 1445 acts as a meta-visual experiment to engage regions of the mind and thus opening portals to the realms of memory, nostalgia and fantasy.


Shadow (No. 1445)

signed, dated and titled 'JIRO TAKAMATSU 1997 "No. 1445"' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
227.3 x 181.8 cm. (89 1/2 x 71 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1997.

HK$1,200,000 - 2,200,000 

Sold for HK$1,375,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2017