Past Exhibitions

  • June 18-September 26, 2021

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

from the Museum Collection

David Smith, Circle IV, 1962

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. Steel is a familiar material in our daily lives, but here we invite you to enjoy the diverse faces it reveals in the hands of artists.


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

Gallery 4 (2nd floor)
June 18-September 26, 2021
10:00-17:00 (Fridays and Saturdays open until 20:00)
*Last admission : 30 minutes before closing.
Closed on Mondays (except July 26, August 2, 9, 30 and September 20, 2021), August 10 and September 21, 2021
→See also Monthly Calender
Advance ticket is recommended to avoid lines forming at the entrance.
Online purchase: 【e-tix】
Tickets can be purchased on site at the ticket counters, subject to their availability.
Adults ¥500 (400)
College and university students ¥250 (200)
*The price in brackets is for the group of 20 persons or more. All prices include tax.
Free for high school students, under 18, seniors (65 and over), Campus Members, MOMAT passport holder.
*Show your Membership Card of the MOMAT Supporters or the MOMAT Members to get free admission (a MOMAT Members Card admits two persons free).
*Persons with disability and one person accompanying them are admitted free of charge.
*Members of the MOMAT Corporate Partners are admitted free with their staff ID.
Evening Discount (From 17:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Adults ¥300
College and university students ¥150
The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo


Art Museum

3-1 Kitanomaru-koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322


CLOSED today

October 4, 2022 (Tue)