Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was a major and highly regarded sculptor of the twentieth century. He created sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs throughout a career of artistic endeavor.
Noguchi's work can be seen in museums around the world, including New York's Museum of Modern Art. He has been called "the American Picasso" and "the Japanese Rodin".
Noguchi was born on April 5, 1904, in Stony Brook, New York, the second son of Kiyoharu Noguchi, a professor of English at Tokyo University of Education. The family moved to Japan when Isamu was young, and he spent his childhood there. He returned to America at age 18 to study art, first at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, then at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Paris. Upon returning to Japan in 1928, he became interested in Zen Buddhism and began using it as a source of inspiration for many of his works.
In 1934, Noguchi had his first exhibition in Japan, followed by another one five years later. In 1939, he had his first exhibition in an overseas country, France. During World War II, Noguchi designed weapons for the US military industry. He also worked on some animated films.
Isamu Noguchi's work in summary Noguchi, who was greatly influenced by traditional Japanese art as well as the biomorphic style of certain Surrealist art, became worldwide recognized for his artwork as well as his publicly accessible furniture and architecture. His designs have been used as the basis for many other artists' work.
Noguchi was born on August 14th, 1899 in Yokohama, Japan. He studied at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music from 1918 to 1922 before moving to Paris, where he joined the École des Beaux-Arts. There he met several leading figures of the French Modern movement, including George Desvallières, Jean Arp, and Pablo Picasso.
In 1929 Noguchi returned to Japan and started his own workshop, which produced innovative and unique pieces until its closure in 1945 during World War II. After the war he opened another studio in Ginza with his wife, Kazuko Shibuya Noguchi. The couple worked together until Isamu's death in 1988; she continued his work after his death.
So, what was Isamu Noguchi inspired by? He was inspired by modern art, especially that of France and Spain. Also by Japanese woodblock prints and early European painting models. But most of all by nature.
The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum in Long Island City, New York, opened in 1985 and has an outdoor sculpture garden as well as a collection of 500 sculptures, models, and pictures. Letricia Dixon, Copy Editor, most recently changed and updated this article. She wrote that she did so because it lacked content on the website.
Noguchi's work can be found in public and private collections worldwide. One of his largest projects was the garden for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, which he designed in 1969. He also created site-specific installations for other institutions including the High Line Art Project in New York City, the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, and the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach.
Noguchi died in 1988 at the age of 53 after suffering from cancer. But even though he died before finishing his project, his wife Vicky completed and organized the garden collection based on his wishes.
The museum offers several programs each week including artist talks, performances, films, and workshops for children and adults. It is best to call or email ahead to confirm that these events are still happening as they are not listed online.
He used all of these impressions into his art, which included stainless steel, marble, cast iron, balsa wood, bronze, sheet aluminum, basalt, granite, and water. Leonie Gilmour, Noguchi's mother, met his father while he was a young writer and editor living in New York City. He worked for her publishing company that she owned with her husband George W. MacLeod.
Noguchi was interested in many different fields when he was a child, such as physics, chemistry, and biology. This showed in his work where he often used natural elements in his pieces such as wood, metal, or stone as opposed to other artists who may have used clay or plastic as their medium.
When Noguchi was about 14 years old, he started making masks as a hobby. Masks were popular at the time among artists and writers in New York City because they could show your emotions and thoughts without saying anything out loud. Masks were also useful when you wanted to create something mysterious or unknown.
Noguchi continued making masks until he went to college at Harvard University. There he became more focused on painting and sculpting instead. However, he did make one mask during this time that he took off of his face every night before going to sleep. This mask was made of plaster of Paris and it had sharp objects stuck in it so that it would cut away any bad dreams that might have come to him while he was asleep.