The Challenges and Joys of Steel: David Smith’s Circle and Other Sculpture

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

poster for The Challenges and Joys of Steel: David Smith’s Circle and Other Sculpture
[Image: David Smith "Circle IV" (1962)]

Ends tomorrow

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo recently purchased Circle IV (1962) by David Smith (1906-1965), one of the most renowned American postwar sculptors. This work is the centerpiece of this mini-exhibit that examines the importance of steel, newly adopted as a sculptural material, in the development of postwar sculpture. In contrast to traditional sculpture processes such as carving wood or stone, shaping clay, or casting in bronze, Smith welded steel plates and frames to connect geometric planes and lines and generate dynamic spaces, broadly expanding the possibilities of sculpture. This approach was further developed by the British sculptor Anthony Caro. Meanwhile, in Japan, sculptors working with steel emerged in the mid-1950s, treating the material with a range of methodologies. Some regarded it as an optimal material for geometric compositions, while others sought to bring it to life by working closely with its intrinsic physical properties, such as surfaces’ rusting over time or their brilliance when polished.



from June 18, 2021 to September 26, 2021
Open on 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, 8/30, 9/20. Closed on 8/10, 9/2.


Adults ¥500; University Students ¥250; High School Students and Under, Seniors 65 & Over, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion free.

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 17:00
fridays closing at 20:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Closed on the new year holidays and during changing exhibitions. On a Public Holiday Monday, the museum is open but closed on the following Tuesday.


Address: 3-1 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322
Phone: 03-5777-8600

3 minute walk from exit 1b at Takebashi Station on the Tozai line, 11 minute walk from exit 4 at Kudanshita Station on the Hanzomon and Tozai lines.

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