Slack of Cloth

Jiro Takamatsu1970

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

Takamatsu graduated from the Painting Department of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1958 and submitted his work to the Yomiuri Independent Exhibition that year. In 1963, he founded the Hi-Red Center together with Genpei Akasegawa and Natsuyuki Nakanishi. He participated in The 10th Tokyo Biennale, Japan “Between Man and Matter” held in 1970. In 1977, he submitted his work to documenta 6. He achieved recognition as a leading artist in the Japanese art world. From the 1980s onwards, he worked mainly on paintings.

From the mid-1960s, Takamatsu, who had become more and more inclined to an anti-art tendency from the late 1950s, began to produce works focusing on the discrepancy between the perception shaped through our visual sensation and the actual image seen with our eyes with shadows or perspective as the motif. The Slack series presented around 1970 is based on such an interest. If this cloth were square, as long as the four sides are straight lines, the slack in the middle should not occur. Conversely, if there is a slack in the middle, the four sides should be slack, too. This cloth is actually sewn together in three dimensions so that the four sides form a square and there is a bulge in the middle. Therefore, the cognition of a square cloth does not match the real image of this cloth before our eyes at all. Through such an experience, we are made to realize that there is always a discrepancy between the world we have cognizance of and the world we are actually looking at with our own eyes.

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