Eykyn Maclean is honored to present the first ever exhibition in the United States of internationally renowned sculptor Kan Yasuda. The exhibition, open to the public 6 May – 27 June, will feature over twenty of the artist’s new sculptures. Gallery partner Christopher Eykyn says, “Having followed Kan’s career in Europe and Japan, we are delighted to have the opportunity of introducing his work to an American audience. Working together with Kan, we have selected a group of works that best represent this important artist at the height of his career. I know that Kan’s sculpture will resonate as powerfully here as it does in the rest of the world.”

Born in Japan in 1945, Yasuda has divided his time between Hokaido, Japan and Pietrasanta, Italy for over forty years, and his work deftly merges the cultural traditions of East and West. Working in an abstract vocabulary of smooth surfaces and sensually rounded forms with antecedents in the sculpture of Brancusi and Arp, Yasuda’s sculpture possesses the meditative stillness and tranquillity that may call to mind eastern philosophy or religion, but for Yasuda it is the ability of art to connect with mankind in general that motivates his practice. He works in a range of scales from the intimate to the monumental, imbuing each with a palpable presence that lingers in the minds of viewers long after their visual contact with the work.

Yasuda’s painstaking technical process begins with the stones themselves, which he sources from the famous Carrara quarries, near his studio in Pietrasanta. He chooses the marbles carefully, working with the pure whiteness of statuarario marble, the deep blacks of black granite, and the white marble with rich, dark veins for which Carrara is famous. Carved entirely by hand, Yasuda has long believed touch to be a critical part of the process of making his art and of viewing it, and has often welcomed viewers of his large outdoor sculptures to touch their surfaces and even to climb or lie on them.

In 1992, together with the city of Bibai in Hokkaido (Yasuda’s home-town), Yasuda created Arte Piazza Bibai, a sculpture park that spans 17 acres and includes forty of the artist’s works. Free to visit and open to the public year-round, the park has revitalized the city and in 2002 earned the Togo Murano Award of Japan for best architectural project. In 1994, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presented a solo exhibition featuring eighteen of Yasuda’s large-scale works. Peter Murray, founder and executive director at Yorkshire, writes of Yasuda’s work as “sculpture for all seasons,” noting that while marble can at first appear intensely white and stark, “under the sensitive but determined hand of Kan Yasuda it assumes a responsive aura adapting to the lush green of late spring, the buttercup yellow of an English summer, the rust of autumn or the icy white of winter.”

Other exhibitions include those organized by the cities of Florence, Milan, Pietrasanta, Rome, and Sapporo, as well as the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge), and Tokyo’s Metropolitan Teien Art Museum. In 2000, Yasuda was commissioned by celebrated architect Renzo Piano to install a sculpture in front of Piano’s Aurora Place in Sydney, and in the same year three of his sculptures were permanently installed in the Boboli Gardens in Florence-the first abstract sculptures to join this renowned, 500 year-old collection. Yasuda’s works can be found in public and private collections around the globe, including the Benesse Art Site Naoshima (Japan), Bridgewater Hall (U.K), Benetton Group’s Corporate Headquarters (Italy), and Trajan Market/Imperial Forum Museum (Italy).

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with a new essay written by Peter Benson Miller, the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome.

Eykyn Maclean Gallery
23 East 67th Street, 2nd Floor
New York (NY) 10065 United States
Tel. +1 (212) 7729425

Opening hours
Tuesday - Saturday
From 10am to 5pm

Related images

  1. Kan Yasuda, Kaisei, 2000, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean
  2. Kan Yasuda, Tenpi, 2011, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean
  3. Kan Yasuda, Shosei, 2013, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean
  4. Kan Yasuda, Myomu, 2014, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean
  5. Kan Yasuda, Tenpi, 2013, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean
  6. Kan Yasuda, Tenpi, 2011, Photo Nicola Gnesi, © Kan Yasuda, Courtesy Eykyn Maclean