Temperamentally, there are two main types of artist. There is the tortured loner, working hard in his atelier, taking a few minutes from his labors, to slice off his ear, pop it in an envelope, and send it to some girl he has a crush on. Then there is the more outgoing chap, who gets together with his mates over a drink and discusses ways they can have a bit of laugh with the media.
As the founder of Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Concrete Art Association), a group of anarchist creators who experimented enthusiastically in all possible artistic media – including mud wrestling and jumping through paper screens – and anticipated the 'Happenings' of the Sixties by a decade, Yoshihara Jiro is definitely in the second category. Although it's the former type that invariably produces the best work, Jiro was nonetheless an original and talented artist as this centennial retrospective shows.
Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo: to July 30, 2006