Coinciding with the inauguration of the Hôtel des collections on June 29, the MOCO unveils the first public presentation of masterpieces from the Ishikawa Collection. This outstanding and relatively recent private collection begun in 2011 by Yasuharu Ishikawa, a Japanese entrepreneur born in 1970 at Okayama, is characterized by exceptional coherence and a Japanese feel that derives primarily from its emphasis on minimal, understated, subtle forms.
The exhibition Intimate Distance, curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (MOT), and professor at the Tokyo University of Arts, boasts nearly 30 works by international artists, such as On Kawara (Kariya, Japan, 1932 – New York, USA, 2014), Felix González-Torres (Guáimaro, Cuba, 1957 – Miami, USA, 1996), Pierre Huyghe (Paris, France, 1962), Danh Vo (Bà Ria, Vietnam, 1975), Motoyuki Shitamichi (Okayama, Japan, 1978), and Simon Fujiwara (London, Great Britain, 1982).
The sculptures, paintings, photographs, videos, and installations selected by the curator have their common roots in the conceptual heritage. All, however, spring from striking personal narratives embedded in historical and universal situations: a lover’s illness (Felix González-Torres), an ecological disaster (Pierre Huyghe), the relation between globalization and migration (Danh Vo), or the paternal relationship (Simon Fujiwara). Acts of recollection, these works conjure up shared memories and spark powerful emotions on the formal and sensory levels. Many rely on direct interaction with the visitor, often through image or sound, to create enduring sensations.
There is nothing spectacular, nothing outlandish about the works selected here; rather a constant tension between the private and the historical dimension—as evidenced by a magnificent series of twelve of On Kawara's Date Paintings, works that embody the poetic oscillation between the abstract neutrality of a date and the often violent world events associated with it.
Intimate Distance brings together works from the 1960s to the present day, centering on pieces produced after the 1990s. The selection on display includes historical figures such as Marcel Broodthaers, Lawrence Weiner, and Gerhard Richter, established artists such as Pierre Huyghe, Liam Gillick, and Danh Vo, and up-and-coming talents, such as Rachel Rose, Ryan Gander or Shitamichi Motoyuki. It is a unique opportunity to see mythical works like the very first light piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, "Untitled" (March 5th) #2, from 1991, a group of videos and sculptures by Fischli & Weiss, and immersive installations by Anri Sala and Haroon Mirza.
Instead of a chronology the exhibition is conceived as a landscape to be explored in which the works resonate with formal and thematic echoes. The Hôtel des collections constitutes an ideal setting for what is a genuine museum journey. Fusing history and intimacy, topicality and sensitivity, this previously unseen collection of recent masterworks radiates an inexplicable serenity.
The catalog, with graphic direction by Sara de Bondt, includes contributions from Yuko Hasegawa, Nicolas Bourriaud, Ryoko Sekiguchi, and Ingrid Luquet-Gad, as well as an interview with the collector Yasuharu Ishikawa. It is co-published by MOCO and Silvana Editoriale.
With works by Marcel Broodthaers, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Simon Fujiwara, Ryan Gander, Liam Gillick, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Pierre Huyghe, On Kawara, Mike Kelley, Haroon Mirza, Gerhard Richter, Rachel Rose, Anri Sala, Shimabuku, Motoyuki Shitamichi, Danh Vo, Lawrence Weiner