Seeing the permanent collection of MoMA

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment

When looking around the objects on display from the permanent collection at the MoMA, one stood out.


Jiro Takamatsu, Slack of Net (1969), [MoMA]

Less is more! This reminded me of the approach I took in [Fiber Sculpture 15]/practice/object-57526-fiber-proof-fifteen/, [Fiber Sculpture 16]/practice/object-57528-fiber-proof-sixteen/, [Fiber Sculpture 17]/practice/object-57529-fiber-proof-seventeen/, not a lot of material, lots of space, yet managing to convey a message.

Doing a bit of research, I found the following text about him.

Takamatsu’s work would be incomprehensible without acknowledging the discourse and aesthetic precedent of Minimalism, as well as Takamatsu’s background in the Anti-Art and Neo-Dada movements. A contrarian by nature, he challenged the prevailing orthodoxy of sculptures fabricated from modular forms and paintings purged of representation in pursuit of truth to material. Takamatsu responded by embracing perspective, torquing universal geometry, and deflating the authority of Minimalist pronouncements. The high modern form of the cube became central to the artist’s efforts to affirm absence and illusion in place of presence and anti-illusion. In Perspective Painting (1967), line is reengaged in the age-old pursuit of rendering three-dimensional perceptual depth in two-dimensional form. Cube 6 + 3 (1968) negates the materiality of a blue wooden cube through the addition of red perspective lines that from one viewing point suggest the cube is transparent. In his work, philosophical and conceptual concerns ran riot through the sanctified realms of structural integrity and material truth in lattice forms and concrete blocks that were distorted and deconstructed. Takamatsu inserted excess materials throughout the rectangular and square shapes of Slack of Net (1968–69) and Slack of Cloth (1969) in order to create sculptures that sagged and yielded to gravity. In Oneness of Concrete (1971), Takamatsu broke a large concrete block into hundreds of parts, preserving the remnants. In so doing, Takamatsu utterly fragmented a symbol of high Minimalism, imbuing it with a new and different authority—that of the history of the ruin.

Source: McCaffrey Fine Art (2011). Jiro Takamatsu — Press Release. New York: McCaffrey Fine Art.

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