Jiro Takamatsu - New Now New York Monday, February 27, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 1997

  • Literature

    Shadow Painting 1997, exh. cat., Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, 1997 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Jiro Takamatsu’s Shadow No. 1439, executed just a year before the artist’s death in 1998 is a stellar example of the late Japanese artist’s signature series of Shadow paintings, distinct in its depiction of the artist himself. A key member of the Mona-Ha movement and founder of the minimalist art collective Hi Red Center in post-war Tokyo, Takamatsu was influential in breaking the traditional boundaries between high art and everyday objects, working across the disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography. Conceived in 1964, Takamatsu’s Shadow series has become the artist’s most well-known body of work. In each painting, Takamatsu illustrates his subject’s shadow in trompe l’oeil fashion on bright white canvas.

    In the present lot, the artist is shown seated on a stool in what appears to be a stance of contemplation, resting a hand on his chin. The artist rejects an individualized portrayal of his own body in the application of soft gray acrylic rendered in layers atop the white canvas, yet the stool on which he sits makes him appear as a staged subject. In what is likely the artist’s last self-portrait painted before his death, the work remains as one of the last vestiges of both the artist’s presence and hand, even more relevant so close to the date of his death.


Shadow No. 1439

signed, titled and dated "JIRO TAKAMATSU 1997 No. 1439" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
89 1/2 x 71 5/8 in. (227.3 x 181.8 cm.)
Painted in 1997.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $274,000

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now

New York Auction 28 February 2017