PACE Galleries

Mingei: Are You Here?

Installation view.

Installation view.

Installation view.

Installation view.

Stephen Prina Blind No. 17, Fifteen-foot Ceiling or Lower, (Pyrrole Red/Prussian Blue Hue/Hansa Yellow Light), 2011. acrylic on linen, window blind mechanism, 457 cm x 103.8 cm (179-15/16" x 40-7/8") each of 3 panels.

Stephen Prina Blind No. 17, Fifteen-foot Ceiling or Lower, (Pyrrole Red/Prussian Blue Hue/Hansa Yellow Light), 2011. acrylic on linen, window blind mechanism, 457 cm x 103.8 cm (179-15/16" x 40-7/8") each of 3 panels.

Isamu Noguchi Akari E Lantern, Designed in ca.1966Manufactured in 2013 by Ozeki & Co., Ltd.. Mulberry bark paper, bamboo, wire, 289.6 cm x 47.9 cm (114" x 18-7/8").

Isamu Noguchi Akari E Lantern, Designed in ca.1966Manufactured in 2013 by Ozeki & Co., Ltd.. Mulberry bark paper, bamboo, wire, 289.6 cm x 47.9 cm (114" x 18-7/8").

Charlotte Perriand Synthese Des Arts Stacking Chair, c. 1955 manufactured by Tendo Mokko. single piece of plywood, 64 cm x 44 cm x 43 cm (25-3/16" x 17-5/16" x 16-15/16").

Charlotte Perriand Synthese Des Arts Stacking Chair, c. 1955 manufactured by Tendo Mokko. single piece of plywood, 64 cm x 44 cm x 43 cm (25-3/16" x 17-5/16" x 16-15/16").

Willem de Rooij My Treble, 2013. polyester on wooden stretcher, 170 cm x 170 cm x 5 cm (66-15/16" x 66-15/16" x 1-15/16").

Willem de Rooij My Treble, 2013. polyester on wooden stretcher, 170 cm x 170 cm x 5 cm (66-15/16" x 66-15/16" x 1-15/16").

Sgrafo Modern Sgrafo Modern, 33 vases. Korallen Series (design by Peter Müller), ca. 1960-1980.. porcelains.

Sgrafo Modern Sgrafo Modern, 33 vases. Korallen Series (design by Peter Müller), ca. 1960-1980.. porcelains.

Installation view.

Installation view.

Willem de Rooij Closure, 2012. polyester on wooden stretcher, 135 cm x 430 cm x 5 cm (53-1/8" x 169-5/16" x 1-15/16").

Willem de Rooij Closure, 2012. polyester on wooden stretcher, 135 cm x 430 cm x 5 cm (53-1/8" x 169-5/16" x 1-15/16").

Lee Ufan Dialogue, 2007. oil on canvas, 227 cm x 182 cm (89-3/8" x 71-5/8").

Lee Ufan Dialogue, 2007. oil on canvas, 227 cm x 182 cm (89-3/8" x 71-5/8").

Charlotte Perriand Charlotte Perriand, Low chair, c., c. 1950. 72.5 cm x 77 cm x 61.5 cm.

Charlotte Perriand Charlotte Perriand, Low chair, c., c. 1950. 72.5 cm x 77 cm x 61.5 cm.

Isamu Noguchi Isamu Noguchi, Little Slate, 1945. cast bronze from the slate original, 28.6 cm x 28.6 cm x 17.1 cm.

Isamu Noguchi Isamu Noguchi, Little Slate, 1945. cast bronze from the slate original, 28.6 cm x 28.6 cm x 17.1 cm.

Unknown Ainu Attush, late 19th Century. woven elm bark fibers with applique of Japanese cotton and embroidery, 129 cm x 129 cm (50-13/16" x 50-13/16").

Unknown Ainu Attush, late 19th Century. woven elm bark fibers with applique of Japanese cotton and embroidery, 129 cm x 129 cm (50-13/16" x 50-13/16").

Kenzo Tange Chair, 1957. plywood frame and back, seat upholstered, 77 cm x 52.1 cm x 54.1 cm (30-5/16" x 20-1/2" x 21-5/16").

Kenzo Tange Chair, 1957. plywood frame and back, seat upholstered, 77 cm x 52.1 cm x 54.1 cm (30-5/16" x 20-1/2" x 21-5/16").

Mark Barrow YMCK5, 2013. Acrylic on hand-loomed linen, 119.4 cm x 101.6 cm (47" x 40")Textile by Sarah Parke.

Mark Barrow YMCK5, 2013. Acrylic on hand-loomed linen, 119.4 cm x 101.6 cm (47" x 40")Textile by Sarah Parke.

Isamu Noguchi Untitled, 1981. obsidian, 15.2 cm x 63.5 cm x 7.6 cm (6" x 25" x 3").

Isamu Noguchi Untitled, 1981. obsidian, 15.2 cm x 63.5 cm x 7.6 cm (6" x 25" x 3").

Lee Ufan Lee Ufan, From Winds, 1982. watercolour on paper, 57.5 cm x 76.5 cm.

Lee Ufan Lee Ufan, From Winds, 1982. watercolour on paper, 57.5 cm x 76.5 cm.

Bandori Decorative backrest, c. 1960's. Rice straw and cotton cord, 64 cm x 45 cm x 5 cm (25-3/16" x 17-11/16" x 1-15/16").

Bandori Decorative backrest, c. 1960's. Rice straw and cotton cord, 64 cm x 45 cm x 5 cm (25-3/16" x 17-11/16" x 1-15/16").

Valentin Carron Pot I, 2013. concrete, 60 cm x 90 cm x 90 cm (23-5/8" x 35-7/16" x 35-7/16").

Valentin Carron Pot I, 2013. concrete, 60 cm x 90 cm x 90 cm (23-5/8" x 35-7/16" x 35-7/16").

Hiroshi Sugimoto Mathematical Model 004 Dini's surface: a surface of constant negative curvature obtained by twisting, 2006. aluminum and iron, total height: 282.2 cm (111-1/8"); model height: 262.2 cm (103-1/4"); base: 40 cm x 12 cm (15-3/4" x 4-3/4").

Hiroshi Sugimoto Mathematical Model 004 Dini's surface: a surface of constant negative curvature obtained by twisting, 2006. aluminum and iron, total height: 282.2 cm (111-1/8"); model height: 262.2 cm (103-1/4"); base: 40 cm x 12 cm (15-3/4" x 4-3/4").

Unknown Unknown, Boro Futonji, Early 20th Century. mended and patched textile used as futon cover (futonji), fragment of Indigo Cotton mounted on canvas, 136 cm x 90 cm (53-9/16" x 35-7/16").

Unknown Unknown, Boro Futonji, Early 20th Century. mended and patched textile used as futon cover (futonji), fragment of Indigo Cotton mounted on canvas, 136 cm x 90 cm (53-9/16" x 35-7/16").

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About Artists

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Press Release

  • Mingei: Are You Here?

    6-10 Lexington Street

    London W1F 0LB


    15 October 2013 to 18 January 2014

    Opening: Monday 14 October, 6-8 pm.

    Pace London is pleased to present its first group exhibition at 6-10 Lexington Street from 15 October 2013 to 18 January 2014. Mingei: Are You Here? explores the legacy of Mingei, a Japanese folk craft movement led by philosopher and critic Sōetsu Yanagi and questions the presence of craftsmanship in contemporary art.

    The exhibition features eighty works and special commissions by more than twenty-five artists, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, ceramics and textile shown in a vitrine inspired by ethnographic exhibitions. Systems of display and practical aspects of museum work are one of the central themes of the exhibition.

    Curated by Nicolas Trembley, this museum-quality exhibition juxtaposes historical works by Japanese Mingei artists with modern and contemporary artists, designers and architects inspired by the philosophy of Mingei. Pace’s artists featured in the exhibition include Josef Albers, Isamu Noguchi, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lee Ufan and specifically for this exhibition:Ruth Asawa, Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke, Valentin Carron, Trisha Donnelly, Simon Fujiwara, Naoto Fukasawa, Shoji Hamada, Kawai Kanjiro, Tomimoto Kenkichi, Bernard Leach, Sgrafo Modern, Jasper Morrison, Charlotte Perriand, Stephen Prina, Willem de Rooij, Keisuke Serizawa, Kenzo Tange, Danh Vo and Sori Yanagi.

    Inspired by the 19th century Arts and Crafts movement in Europe, the Mingei movement was established in 1926 during a period of rapid growth in Japan that included military imperialism, nationalism, westernisation and urbanisation. It sought to maintain the cultural originality of the different peoples across Japan. The title of the exhibition refers to the philosophical ethos of Mingei which champions the everyday, ordinary and utilitarian objects created by nameless and unknown craftsmen.

    According to Sōetsu Yanagi, Founder of the Mingeikan – Japan Folk Crafts Museum: “Dishonesty, depravity, and luxury - this is what Mingei objects must avoid at all costs; all that is natural, sincere, safe and simple – these are the characteristics of Mingei art.”

    Highlights include works by Mark Barrow who collaborated with textile designer Sarah Parke to produce a hand-loomed linen work onto which Barrow has painted a geometrical composition of delicate and interweaving colours. While the interlacing composition might allude to Barrow’s obsession with pixels as well as pertaining to wider evocations of technology, the sciences and phenomenology, the process by which the piece has been made adheres to an artisanal tradition based in natural materials. Here we see a palpable link between tradition and modernity that is integral to the exhibition and, not least, the development of the Mingei movement.


    Valentin Carron looked to his native Swiss valley, where he employs local artisans to produce his vases made of unrefined concrete, and finds inspiration through the vernacular shapes one finds in its public spaces. For one of the sculptures in this exhibition, he has used marble from Cipolin, a local quarry that is now shut. The architect Adolf Loos also used this marble for his Villa Müller in Prague. Similarly, the American artist Trisha Donnelly often visits Italian quarries where she engraves marble. One of these marble pieces is shown in Mingei: Are You Here?. For her second sculpture in this exhibition, Donnelly worked with both a locksmith and blacksmith to create a blade that encapsulates the “warrior spirit” of a sabre.

    Returning to his homeland, Vietnam, Danh Vo gilds mundane cardboard boxes with gold leaf offering a critique on the oft-tainted contemporary notion of the artisan. Perhaps simultaneously his piece evokes the heritage of Mingei visual culture that refashioned daily utilitarian objects into objects considered ‘beautiful’. The re-use of everyday materials is further found in Stephen Prina’s piece as the artist has painted on simple roller blinds to reference Japanese scroll painting, kakemono. Prina’s work could recently be seen on display at the Pavilion for Japanese Art of LACMA, Los Angeles.

    This exhibition's strongest thread, however, is Isamu Noguchi, rarely shown in the UK, who personifies a dialogue between the Orient and the West, equally addressing design, sculpture, and architecture as well as acknowledging both tradition and modernity. Flanking Noguchi are friends of his including the architect Kenzo Tange who designed handwoven seats, as well as artists represented by Pace who are now perpetuating an East-West exchange. Indeed, Yanagi's thinking guided Korean artist Lee Ufan during his days as a philosophy student, and it is Yanagi’s son, Sori Yanagi, who introduced Charlotte Perriand to Japan and Mingei in the 1940s.

    Sori Yanagi, who is also featured in Mingei: Are You Here?, was greatly impressed by the exhibition Super Normal: Sensations of the Ordinary conceived by the Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa and the English product designer Jasper Morrison on the occasion of the 2007 Milan triennial. He stopped before a sieve to ask who had produced it. So commonplace had this object become since it was first designed, he had forgotten that he himself had actually created it. This anecdote is significant. The Yanagi sieve appears in this exhibition, together with its woven bamboo ancestor, which dates back to the nineteenth century Meiji period. The latter belongs to the largest private collection of Mingei artefacts outside Japan. Its owner, the collector Jeffrey Montgomery, admits how enthralled he is by the way in which such objects emanate “vibrations” acquired through “years of handling and stories beyond words”.

    Hiroshi Sugimoto presents two new site-specific sculptures in Mingei: Are You Here?. During the 1980s in New York, Sugimoto owned an antique shop which he simply named Mingei after a movement that he would be one of the first to introduce to the United States.

    "Mingei : Are You Here? Is a fantastic and super inspiring show. Nicolas Trembley has conceived a model of how we can invent the future with fragments from the past."Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects of the Serpentine Gallery, October 2013.


    A catalogue for the exhibition is forthcoming and features introductions by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Nicolas Trembley, and Yuko Kikuchi.


    LIST OF ARTISTS

    Anni Albers

    Josef Albers

    Ruth Asawa

    Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke

    Valentin Carron

    Trisha Donnelly

    Simon Fujiwara

    Naoto Fukasawa

    Shoji Hamada

    Kawai Kanjiro

    Tomimoto Kenkichi

    Bernard Leach

    Sgrafo Modern

    Jasper Morrison

    Isamu Noguchi

    Charlotte Perriand

    Stephen Prina

    Willem de Rooij

    Keisuke Serizawa

    Hiroshi Sugimoto

    Kenzo Tange

    Lee Ufan

    Danh Vo

    Sori Yanagi

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News

On Thursday, March 6, Pace Gallery opened Mingei: Are You Here? at 508 West 25th Street. The show will remain open through April 5, 2014. 

Nicolas Trembley, Curator and Tamara Corm, Director of Pace London explain the ideas and inspirations behind his exhibition Mingei: Are You Here?. Originally on view at Pace London in the fall of 2013, the exhibition is on view in New York at 508 West 25th Street from March 6 through April 5, 2014. Watch the video here.

On Tuesday, 19 October, Pace London opened Mingei: Are You Here? at 6-10 Lexington Street. The show will remain open until 14 December.

Videos

Video /

Pace London presents Mingei: Are You Here?