Japan: Art and Its Essence

Japan: Art and Its Essence

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 28. Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998) | Shadow Portrait of a Mother and Child (Kage no boshi zo).

Property from an Important Private Collection

Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998) | Shadow Portrait of a Mother and Child (Kage no boshi zo)

Lot Closed

July 26, 01:28 PM GMT


20,000 - 25,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection 

Takamatsu Jiro (1936-1998) 

Shadow Portrait of a Mother and Child (Kage no boshi zo)

graphite on paper, signed to the reverse in Roman letters Jiro Takamatsu and dated 1988, titled in Japanese Kage no boshi zo (Shadow Portrait of a Mother and Child), framed and glazed

85 x 64 cm., 33½ x 25¼ in. (including frame)

Estate of Takamatsu Jiro

Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo

Presence and absence are at the core of Takamatsu’s Shadow series. Takamatsu began this corpus in 1964 and continued until his death in 1998, inspired by the depiction of shadows in 19th century Japanese paintings and woodblock prints, as well as the silhouettes cast on Japanese paper shoji. Both a theorist as well as an artist, Takamatsu explored the idea of absence frequently in his works. The series encompass a breadth of subjects, including both portraits and still-life ranging in complexity and the type of light source. Along with his photographic series Photograph of Photograph, Shadow is an almost metaphysical enquiry into the notion of capturing an image.

Born in 1936, Tokyo, Jiro came to prominence in the 1960s and 90s. Initially studying oil painting at the Tokyo National University in 1958. He achieved artistic notoriety as part of the Hi Red Center group. The collective sought to eliminate the boundary between art and life and engaged in various happenings, most notably the one-sided reproduction of one thousand yen notes, which subsequently led to a member of the group being charged guilty for counterfeit. Takamatsu was also a notable figure of the Mono-ha movement. Takamatsu’s works combines the subversive qualities of Dada and Surrealism with the succinct language of minimalism. Between 1968-72, Takamatsu had a teaching post at the Tama Art University. In 1966, the Tokyo Gallery held his first solo exhibition. He represented Japan at the Venice Biennale (Carlo Cardozzo Prive, 1968). Major retrospectives include the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan in 1999, the Chiba City Museum of Art, Japan in 2000 and the Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo and Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in 2004.