Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) was an American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades. He is known for his sculpture and public artworks, as well as his designs for stage sets and mass-produced furniture. In 1947, Noguchi began working with the Herman Miller company to produce a catalog of modern furniture, which included the iconic Noguchi table. Noguchi’s unique style brought together traditional and modern elements in a new way, and had a profound impact on the world of art.

Magritte’s Stone, 1984, Bronze Plate
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Pierced Seat, 1984
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His early years

His work with sculptures began at a young age. He attended evening sculpture classes with sculptor Onorio Ruotolo at the Leonardo da Vinci School of Art on the Lower East Side of New York.

In 1926 he saw an exhibition of Constantin Brancusi in New York and was so inspired that he went to Paris to study with the older artist. Noguchi’s work changed direction after this experience, becoming more abstract and expressive.

His later years

From 1933 he worked on public squares, monuments, playgrounds, and stage sets. He also designed and produced furniture and lamps. In 1947, Noguchi’s glass-topped table was produced by Herman Miller. This design, as well as others created by Noguchi, such as his designs for Akari light sculptures, are still being produced today.

Man Walking, 1959, Anodized aluminum
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Pidgeon by Isamu Noguchi, 1985 via Aesence
Pidgeon, 1989, Bronze Plate
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Soliloquy, 1962 – 1988
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The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum

In 1985 he opened The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum (now known as The Noguchi Museum) in Long Island City, New York. The museum has a serene outdoor sculpture garden and many galleries that display Noguchi’s work, along with photographs, drawings, and models from his career. The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan, located in Mure, Japan, was opened in 1999 to preserve Noguchi’s studio and inspire artists and scholars.

Impressive creative power

His work is still exhibited around the world. Noguchi is for sure one of the most important sculptors and trend-setting pioneer in the USA. His austere, minimalist sculptures, gardens, and urban squares are undisputed role models for many contemporary landscape architects and artists of a contemporary approach to landscape and garden as spatial works of art.

During his lifetime he created more than 1000 works of art. I am deeply impressed by the fact that he always pursued his passion. If you want to learn more about his art and him, I highly recommend checking out the website of his museum. In The Isamu Noguchi Catalogue Raisonné, they have made it their mission to record and document all of his works.

Aesence is a creative studio and digital design magazine with a high curatorial approach. Founded by Sarah Dorweiler, a creative mind and entrepreneur from Berlin, her goal is to capture the feeling of harmony, balance and inner peace in her curatorial work and photography.