• Exhibition Period
    Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Friday, September 6, 2024.
  • Venue
    Azabudai Hills Gallery (Azabudai Hills Garden Plaza A MBF)
Organizer: Azabudai Hills Gallery in collaboration with Pace Gallery  
Curated by: Alexander S. C. Rower, President, Calder Foundation

ABOUT

About the exhibition

Un effet du japonais, 1941. Sheet metal, wire, rod, and paint. 203.2 x 203.2 x 121.9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York; Gift of Alexander S. C. Rower in memory of Howard Rower, 2022

Azabudai Hills Gallery (Azabudai Hills Garden Plaza A MBF) will host Calder: Un effet du japonais—the artist’s first solo exhibition in Tokyo in nearly 35 years—from Thursday, May 30, 2024 to Friday, September 6, 2024.

Calder: Un effet du japonais will explore the enduring resonance of the American modernist’s art with Japanese traditions and aesthetics. Curated by Alexander S. C. Rower, President of the Calder Foundation, New York, and organized in collaboration with Pace Gallery, the exhibition will comprise approximately 100 works from the collection of the Calder Foundation that span the 1920s to the 1970s, ranging from the artist’s signature mobiles, stabiles, and standing mobiles to his oil paintings and works on paper.

While Calder never traveled to Japan himself, he was embraced by many of the country’s artists and poets during his lifetime. Today, more than two dozen of his works can be found in 18 museums across Japan. In the spirit of Calder’s collaborations with the greatest architects of his time, New York-based Stephanie Goto—longtime Calder Foundation collaborator—has created a bespoke exhibition design rooted in the geometry of a 3:4:5 triangle that features elegant and modern references to Japanese architecture and materials.

Calder: Un effet du japonais is organized as part of a new curatorial partnership between Azabudai Hills Gallery and Pace Gallery, which will open a permanent space in July 2024 in Tokyo’s Azabudai Hills. Pace has worked closely with the Calder Estate since 1984 and has presented numerous exhibitions of Calder’s work at its galleries around the world—including Hong Kong and Seoul. Pace Publishing will release a new catalogue in English and Japanese to accompany the upcoming show in Tokyo.

Artist profile

Calder with Red Disc and Gong (1940) and Untitled (c. 1940) in his Roxbury studio, 1944. Photograph by Eric Schaal © Life Magazine

Alexander Calder

Calder (b. 1898, Lawnton, Pennsylvania; d. 1976, New York City) is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Born into a family of celebrated, though more classically trained artists, he began his artistic practice by developing a new method of sculpting: by bending and twisting wire, he essentially “drew” three-dimensional figures in space. Calder is best known for his invention of the “mobile,” in which suspended, abstract elements move and balance in changing harmony. Coined by Marcel Duchamp in 1931, the term “mobile” refers to “motion” and “motive” in French. Some of the earliest mobiles moved by motors, although these mechanics were virtually abandoned as Calder developed objects that responded to air currents, light, humidity, and human interaction. Using movement as a key element in his hanging mobiles, he was among the first practitioners of kinetic art making. He also created stationary abstract works that fellow artist Jean Arp dubbed “stabiles.”

While he is most renowned for his mobiles, which transformed the modern conception of sculpture, Calder also worked across painting, drawing, printing, and jewelry making. From the 1950s onward, he turned his attention to international commissions and increasingly devoted himself to making outdoor sculpture on a grand scale from bolted steel plates—today, these monumental works can be found in public spaces around the world.

Untitled, 1956. Sheet metal, wire, and paint. 88.9 x 304.5 x 162.6 cm. Calder Foundation, New York

NEWS

SNS

Azabudai Hills Gallery social media accounts
Calder Foundation social media accounts

Pace Gallery social media accounts

OUTLINE

Exhibition Title
Calder: Un effet du japonais
Organizer
Azabudai Hills Gallery in collaboration with Pace Gallery
Curated by
Alexander S. C. Rower, President, Calder Foundation
Exhibition design
Stephanie Goto Architecture
Exhibition Period
Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Friday, September 6, 2024.
Closed Day
Tuesday, June 4, 2024, Tuesday July 2, 2024, Tuesday August 6, 2024
Venue
Azabudai Hills Gallery
(Azabudai Hills Garden Plaza A MBF, 5-8-1 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo)
Opening Hours
Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday  10AM-6PM
Friday/Saturday/Days preceding national holidays  10AM-7PM
*Last entry 30 minutes before closing time.
Inquiries
azabudaihillsgallery@mori.co.jp
Access
Direct connection from Exit 5 of Kamiyacho Station on Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
View on Google Map
Press Inquiries

Azabudai Hills Gallery Public Relations Office
Email: az-gallery@mori.co.jp

HIGHLIGHTS

Venue Photo

Installation view of Calder: Un effet du japonais, Azabudai Hills Gallery, 2024 Photo: Tadayuki Minamoto © 2024 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS). New York
Installation view of Calder: Un effet du japonais, Azabudai Hills Gallery, 2024 Photo: Tadayuki Minamoto © 2024 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS). New York
Installation view of Calder: Un effet du japonais, Azabudai Hills Gallery, 2024 Photo: Tadayuki Minamoto © 2024 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS). New York

Hanging Mobiles

Guava, 1955. Sheet metal, rod, wire, and paint. 181 x 372.1 x 118.1 cm. Private Collection. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York
Untitled, c. 1954. Sheet metal, wire, and paint. 128.3 x 142.2 cm. Calder Foundation, New York
Untitled, 1956. Sheet metal, wire, and paint. 88.9 x 304.8 x 162.2 cm. Calder Foundation, New York. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York

Standing Mobiles

Fafnir, 1968. Sheet metal, rod, and paint. 284.5 x 467.4 x 116.8 cm. Calder Foundation, New York
Yucca, 1941. Sheet metal, wire, and paint. 103.5 x 38.1 x 27.9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York
Un effet du japonais, 1941. Sheet metal, wire, rod, and paint. 203.2 x 203.2 x 121.9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York; Gift of Alexander S. C. Rower in memory of Howard Rower, 2022

Stabiles

The Pagoda, 1963. Sheet metal, bolts, and paint. 312 x 200.1 x 159.4 cm. Calder Foundation, New York
Black Beast, 1940. Sheet metal, bolts, and paint. 261.6 x 414 x 199.4 cm. Calder Foundation, New York. Photograph by Ken Adlard © Calder Foundation, New York

Oil Paintings

Pinwheel and Flow, 1958. Oil on canvas. 76.5 x 101.9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York
Seven Black, Red and Blue, 1947. Oil on canvas. 122.2 x 153 cm. Calder Foundation, New York

Works on Paper

Untitled (Cat), 1925. Ink on paper. 8.6 x 12 cm. Calder Foundation, New York; Mary Calder Rower Bequest, 2011. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York
Untitled (Rooster), 1925. Ink on paper. 9.8 x 7 cm. Calder Foundation, New York; Mary Calder Rower Bequest, 2011. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York
Untitled (Monkey), 1925. Ink on paper. 7.3 x 9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York; Mary Calder Rower Bequest, 2011. Photograph by Tom Powel Imaging © Calder Foundation, New York
Untitled, 1947. Gouache and ink on paper. 29.2 x 38.7 cm. Calder Foundation, New York

Panel

Little Yellow Panel, 1936. Wood, sheet metal, wire, string, and paint. 113.6 x 48.9 x 48.9 cm. Calder Foundation, New York
All works by Alexander Calder © 2024 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

EXHIBITION DESIGN

In the spirit of Calder’s collaborations with the greatest architects of his time, New York-based Stephanie Goto—longtime Calder Foundation collaborator—has created a bespoke exhibition design rooted in the geometry of a 3:4:5 triangle that features elegant and modern references to Japanese architecture and materials.

The exhibition is organized around two central pavilions, placed in retrospect to the triangular diagonal. The square plan recalls that of the teahouse and the Noh theater stage, anchoring the plan’s heart center. A perception of space is punctuated by the concept of ma, which means a “pause” that gives an idea of space, including the concept of time. Traditional Japanese materials—wood, paper, plaster—enhance this pause and absence, adding a tactile human quality further defined by the pavilion’ s ceilings, clear planes of light in the form of illuminated zigzag overhanging eaves.

Installation view of Calder: Un effet du japonais, Azabudai Hills Gallery, 2024 Photo: Tadayuki Minamoto © 2024 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS). New York

Stephanie Goto| Exhibition design

A longtime Calder Foundation collaborator, Japanese architect Stephanie Goto has become a leader in creating truly unique and integrated experiential spaces that embrace the relationality between architecture, culture, art, gastronomy, and hospitality. Goto founded her multidisciplinary practice in 2004, and notable commissions include the Calder Foundation’s Project Space; scenography design for Calder exhibitions at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles, and Pace Gallery, New York; Caesarstone Experience Center in Georgia; multisensory experiential design for Dom Pérignon; and in 2023, Goto’s first project in Japan for Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Shinmonzen, Kyoto.

MESSAGES

See below quotes from Alexander S. C. Rower, President of the Calder Foundation and Calder's grandson, and Marc Glimcher, CEO of Pace Gallery, in conjunction with the opening of this exhibition.

In relation to Calder: Un effet du japonais

There’s a subtlety and grace in my grandfather’s work that resonates with Japanese traditions—and a deep regard for all things sublime and ephemeral. Calder: Un effet du japonais will celebrate the ways in which his mobiles, stabiles, and standing mobiles create a space for contemplation and acts of self-creation. The curatorial process was an intuitive one, guided by Calder’ s lifelong admiration for Japanese aesthetics and culture—and the ways in which he worked with the freedom of disparity, asymmetry, and a kind of approximation.

Alexander S. C. Rower

Alexander Calder is one of the most important figures in our gallery’s history and in the history of Modernism itself. Pace’s first exhibition dedicated to Calder’s work was presented in New York in 1985, and we’re so grateful to have maintained a strong relationship with the Calder Foundation over the past 40 years. Calder: Un effet du japonais will be a historic exhibition in its own right, and it will also kick off our special partnership with Azabudai Hills Gallery. We look forward to many future curatorial collaborations that bring our artists’ work to new audiences in Tokyo, where we’re thrilled to open our first permanent gallery this summer.

Marc Glimcher

About Pace Gallery

Pace is a leading international art gallery founded in 1960 by Arne Glimcher. Now led by his son Marc Glimcher, its roster includes legendary 20th century figures and some of today’s most influential contemporary artists. The gallery has seven locations around the world including in New York, Los Angeles, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Pace’s new Tokyo gallery in Azabudai Hills, opening in 2024, will be its eighth global location. The gallery spans three floors with interiors designed by Sou Fujimoto.

Rendering of Pace Gallery, Tokyo. © DBOX for Mori Building Co., Ltd - Azabudai Hills
Venue Notes
  • Changes may occur in exhibition dates, opening hours, etc. Please check the exhibition homepage for the latest information.
  • Please do not touch either the works on display or the display cases.
  • Photos may only be taken with personal cellphones. No flash photography allowed.
  • The use of tripods and other photography equipment (including selfie sticks) is prohibited.
  • Please refrain from copying or using writing instruments other than pencils inside the venue.
  • In order to protect the works, the museum maintains a constant temperature within the venue. When visiting the museum, we recommend that you wear clothing that allows you to easily regulate your body temperature.
  • If you would like to take advantage of complimentary parking, please present your ticket receipt screen at the information counter on the day of your visit.
  • For the protection of the artworks, we kindly ask that you store large bags and backpacks in the lockers.
  • Please follow the instructions of the staff when visiting. Any behavior that may cause a nuisance to other visitors is strictly prohibited. If you do not comply, you may be refused entry or asked to leave.
  • The gallery will not become involved in any disputes between customers.