Lot 81
  • 81

JIRO TAKAMATSU | Loose of Net #2

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Jiro Takamatsu
  • Loose of Net #2
  • cotton rope
  • 71 by 71 in. 180.3 by 180.3 cm.
  • Executed in 1970, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity singed by Mr. Imaizumi, the artist's gallery representative in 1970.


Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo
Acquired by the present owner from the above in June 1970


This work is in very good condition overall. The work is installed resting on nails intermittently along the perimeter. The ends of the various ropes are fraying, inherent to the artist's chosen medium. There are a few areas of faint discoloration and some unobtrusive scattered accretions to the rope. Under close inspection, there are a few scattered unobtrusive pulls to the fiber of the rope.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

As one of the most important and influential artists working in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s, Jiro Takamatsu pursued an interrogation of the world through a variety of methods and media. He sought to remove art from its traditional and institutional confines through a “descent into the everyday” (nihijo-sei eno kako), erasing the boundaries between art and everyday life. Takamatsu’s work imbues the visual language of Minimalism with the playfulness of Dada and Surrealism, creating objects that are as irreverent as they are conceptually vital. Loose of Net #2 wholly embodies these characteristics of his work.
At the time Loose of Net was conceived, the artistic landscape was largely dominated by the simple, industrial, and geometric shapes of Minimalism. The present work challenges the preexisting authority by disrupting the integrity of one of its key forms: the grid. Takamatsu uses loose cotton rope, which droops due to gravity, distorting the shape of the grid and subverting the perceived structural integrity of the latticed form. Moreover, in contrast to the Minimalist tendency for erasing all traces of the artist’s hand, the knots linking the lengths of rope have clearly been tied by human hands, bringing the role of the individual artist back into focus.
Takamatsu’s artistic role is particularly evidenced in Loose of Net by his choice of medium. The inherent flexibility and elasticity of the rope inevitably slackens, warping the grid. In choosing a material that must, through its natural properties, affect the shape and integrity of the work as a whole, the artist shifts our focus onto the presence and essential qualities of the medium itself. Further, by using an ordinary, utilitarian material for artistic and intellectual purposes, Takamatsu defamiliarizes the rope by pushing the viewer to perceive it in a new way. This, in addition to the work’s resemblance to a common fishing net, collapses the distinction between art and life. The visual simplicity of Loose of Net thus belies its multifaceted conceptual undertones.
As a co-founder of the radical art collective Hi Red Center, Takamatsu staged surreal happenings in post-war Tokyo that were socially reflective and boundary blurring. His work was highly influential on the Mono-ha, or “School of Things,” movement, which, like the Italian Arte Povera, emphasized the importance of engaging directly with materials and their properties. With Loose of Net, Takamatsu poses questions about the nature of objects left to themselves, utilizing familiar materials in unfamiliar ways. In turn, his work poses larger questions about the role of the artist in altering our perception of the everyday.