Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to collaborate with The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu on the gallery’s second annual commemorative presentation of Jiro Takamatsu’s work. The exhibition will feature photographs documenting actions and events staged by Hi-Red Center, the experimental art collective officially co-founded by Takamatsu in Tokyo in 1963.
Previously exhibited in Hi-Red Center: Documents of Direct Action at the Nagoya City Art Museum and Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo, the pieces will be shown in Los Angeles for the first time. A concurrent exhibition, Hi-Red Center – through photographs and works continues at Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo, through August 5.
Hi-Red Center sought to take art beyond the confines of traditional commercial and institutional settings, collapsing the boundaries between art and life. With co-founders Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Takamatsu primarily used the group as a vehicle through which to stage guerrilla-style Happenings in vibrant gestures of anti-art (or “han-geijutsu”), often in public places ranging from railway stations and train-car interiors to high-rise rooftops and the streets of Ginza.
Executed during a period of rapid development in Japan, Hi-Red Center’s actions and events should be seen both in tandem with those of the international Fluxus movement and as a natural development from the Japanese Gutai group’s earlier avant-garde manifestos. Whether rolling a tire across a busy sidewalk or dropping objects from a penthouse onto the concrete below, Takamatsu and his collaborators (who included more than just Akasegawa and Nakanishi) conceived the group’s activities to challenge their validity as artworks—and, through this lens, to question traditional systems and standards of artistic practice.
Also on view with the photographs will be Atorie wo tazunete: Jiro Takamatsu (“Visiting an Artist's Studio: Jiro Takamatsu”), a documentary originally broadcast on TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) Television in 1974. This filmed interview provides a rare look into Takamatsu’s practice a decade after Hi-Red Center’s official end, allowing viewers further insight into how the collective helped shape his thinking and the works that followed.
The opening reception will double as the launch event for the new catalogue Jiro Takamatsu, published by Inventory Press. With essays by Jordan Carter, Hiroyuki Nakanishi, and Takamatsu himself, the book features works recently exhibited at Kayne Griffin Corcoran—including the seminal Rusty Ground (1977), shown in North America for the first time in winter 2016—as well as archival photographs from the artist’s studio, historical process images, and stills from Atorie wo tazunete: Jiro Takamatsu. Copiously illustrated, the catalogue offers a timely re-evaluation of Takamatsu’s practice following a resurgence of appreciation for the postwar Japanese avant-garde.
The career of Jiro Takamatsu (1936–1998) spanned over 40 years, during which time his considerable influence as an artist, theorist, and teacher extended across postwar Japanese culture. He represented Japan at the 34th Venice Biennale (Carlo Cardazzo Price, 1968), as well as exhibited at the Paris Biennial (1969), São Paulo Biennial (1973), and Documenta 6, Kassel (1977). He was recently the subject of two major retrospectives in Japan, staged in concert with one another at the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (2014) and the National Museum of Modern Art, Osaka (2015). Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture will be on view at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England, from July 13 to October 22.
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