Daisuke Takahashi

Doing Painting - A Bright Turnabout

2022.9.10 (Sat.) – 10.8 (Sat.)

Open on Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. and Sat., 12:00 – 18:00
Closed on Sunday, Monday, and holidays

Reception for the artist: 9.10 (Sat.), 17:00 – 19:00

Talk event: 9.29 (Thu.), 19:00-
Speakers: Daisuke Takahashi, Roger McDonald (independent curator)
For more information on the event, click here.

Daydream #4, 2022, Oil on canvas, H196xW306cm ©︎Daisuke Takahashi

We are pleased to inform you that ANOMALY will be holding a solo exhibition by Daisuke Takahashi titled Doing Painting – A Bright Turnabout, from September 10 (Sat.) to October 8 (Sat.), 2022.

Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1980, Daisuke Takahashi became known for his abstract paintings with impastos consisting of many layers of pigment. In recent years, he has gradually shifted his style and unveiled some eccentric paintings with concrete motifs. This exhibition will display about 30 of his paintings, including some newly created works.

Over a period of about five years beginning in 2011, Takahashi made a transition from the impastoed “nighttime paintings” he produced while facing the canvas alone at night under fluorescent lighting to thinly painted “daytime paintings” that also took in the world outside himself and were produced under the bright light of day, and further to his “sleep paintings” for which he applied a coat of varnish on the uppermost layer of the painting, thereby physically separating himself from it. This transition was occasioned by a switch to daytime in his production rhythm, owing to changes in his family makeup and life environment.

Subsequently, beginning around 2016, germinal renderings of numerals and other symbol-type markings began to appear on his works. In more recent years, Takahashi showed his Daydream series that incorporates ideographic characters on canvas and was inspired by drawings based on automatic writing. This was followed by his Toy series depicting children’s playthings and other works indicating a movement toward paintings taking everyday objects as their motifs.

Toy (tiger), 2021, Oil on panel, H194xW303cm ©︎Daisuke Takahashi

At first glance, these vivid paintings seem to be distanced from Takahashi’s former style as seen in his impastoed abstract paintings, produced by applying successive layers of pigment using the previous layers themselves as the support. A look at the actual paintings, however, reveals that he has extracted the essence from his usual mode of production and reflected it in details.

One example is Daydream #4 (2022), whose brushwork with white oil paint applied as the background, edges of lines drawn with pigment right out of the tube, and compositional rhythm are deployed on a huge canvas about three meters long. Another is Sun (2022), whose exquisite balance with a well-thought-out line drawing excluding all needless elements generates a certain tension that contrasts with the expansive space freely spreading out before our eyes.

Untitled, 2022, Oil on canvas, H33.3xW19cm ©︎Daisuke Takahashi

km, 2017-2019, Oil on canvas, panel, H97.7xW162.2cm ©︎Daisuke Takahashi

Takahashi heads for the tableau after preparing a meticulous plan drawing and repeatedly checking it. In recent works, his assortment of motifs consists of ideographic characters for the names of periods (Jomon, Yayoi, etc.) and eras (Heisei, Showa, etc.) from Japanese history, as well as familiar, everyday things such as toy animals (tiger, giraffe, etc.), a frying pan, a one-yen coin, a pineapple, and the exterior walls of houses. With the both rough and fine rhythmical touches of Takahashi’s brush, they induce a state akin to Gestaltzerfall (shape decomposition) as our eyes are drawn to the connectivity of detailing and the abstract space unfolding in different areas. Once we re-direct our vision to the whole canvas, however, the everyday motifs come forth for a humorous tête-à-tête with us.


In my production lately, it has become difficult for me to make paintings with impastos in my accustomed style, due to changes in my personal circumstances and the crisis situation in society.
In this situation, I realized that, before being an individual artist, I must be a father and member of society who stands on his own two feet. This realization led to a change in my painting.
Is there something wrong with painting like a child or drawing characters? Why can’t I change my style?

I began to question the outlook on painting in which I had believed, consulted texts on technique, reflected genres of art that are not part of orthodox art history in my works, and painted by subtracting instead of just adding. In short, I tried many things on various levels.

As a result of these trials, the feeling that my existence was supported by everyday routine and the surrounding environment became stronger. I began to take a hard look at the outside of what I had done and the time I had lived so far. On top of this, I arrived at a strong affirmation of where I am now standing, my actual everyday life, and even the fact of being alive.

In a turnabout, my mood brightened, and I came to paint things around me, such as toys, characters, and the exterior walls of houses. The things I felt I should paint were right nearby.

I have made paintings under any circumstances, and believe I will continue to paint going forward as well.

– Daisuke Takahashi

Untitled/One Yen Coin, 2021, Oil on panel, H162xW97cm ©︎Daisuke Takahashi

In Takahashi’s works, the pictorial space deepens while maintaining a close connection with living space. The pieces appear before our eyes as devices that enable us to re-encounter a world we thought we already knew, and to get a new and fresh perception of it.

Takahashi has developed his art while earnestly coming to grips with our constantly changing environment. Please come and see the penetrating expression imbued with an invigorating quality that could even be termed a new frontier for him.

Please also note that – Yuji Oshita, an associate curator of Nakanoshima Museum of Art, Osaka, has composed a text for this exhibition. We urge you to read this text of the following title.
Yuji Oshita “Are Paintings a Means?”


Daisuke Takahashi
Born in Saitama Prefecture in 1980. Lives and works in Saitama. Recieved a BFA in Painting at the Tokyo Zokei University in 2005.
His main exhibitions in recent years were Halfway Happy Vol. 5, Daisuke Takahashi – RELAXIN’ (2021, gallery αM), Sazaedo 2020 – Modern Spiral and a Hundred Paintings (2020, Art Museum & Library, Ota), NEW VISION SAITAMA 5 – The Emerging Body (2016, Museum of Modern Art, Saitama), Present-Day Paintings – Two-Dimensional Works of Four Artists (2015, Kawagoe City Art Museum), and The Way of Painting (2014, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery).

Daisuke Takahashi News Archives

Notification of precautions and requests


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to ensure the safety of visitors, artists, staff, and the community in compliance with the government’s health guidelines, please take a moment for the following requests upon your visit.


Visitors are asked to wear masks and sanitize hands before entering the gallery. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance.

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