An Artist Between Two Worlds: New Book Explores Noguchi’s Bond With Greece

The book “Noguchi and Greece, Greece and Noguchi” explores and presents the relationship between Isamu Noguchi, one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, and Greece. The two-volume publication results from an extended research and exhibition project by the New York-based Noguchi Museum and Objects of Common Interest (OoCI) and was co-edited by Ananda Pellerin.

Isamu Noguchi was best known for his sculptural works. Born in 1904, his impressive oeuvre includes sculpture, landscape design, and furniture design. His interaction and integration of diverse cultural influences reflect an enduring research and contemplation of cultural self-understanding as well as human interaction with natural and built environments.

This book is dedicated to his deep relationship with Greece, which he visited regularly over decades. His interest in Greek culture and the inspiration he drew from it can be found throughout his creative output. “Noguchi and Greece” addresses this influence on his work and the changing identity he developed through exposure to different cultures, diverse artists, and a variety of mediums.

In addition to previously unpublished essays, letters, photographs, and sketches by Noguchi himself, “Noguchi and Greece” is enriched with new texts that place his work in the context of the present. These texts illuminate Noguchi’s fruitful collaborations with his creative community, including futurist architect Buckminster Fuller and choreographer Martha Graham, and place Noguchi’s enduring legacy in the service of contemporary design and art practices.

Image courtesy of Atelier Éditions and D.A.P

The founders of OoCI, Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, themselves Greek designers and architects working in New York, see in Noguchi a kindred spirit. “As Greek designers and architects living and working in New York we share with Noguchi the in-betweenness of two worlds.” Likewise, they share with him the search for a balance between long-lasting and ephemeral projects, between tangible spatial experiences and abstract, conceptual art. For them, creative exploration is always a play with cultural identity, both in relation to their own biography and in relation to the source of inspiration from Greek culture.

Based on documents and artifacts from the Noguchi Museum, they went on an in-depth discovery tour of Noguchi’s life, identity, and inspirations. “Noguchi and Greece, Greece and Noguchi” is thus a profound and inspiring publication about one of the most important artists of the 20th century. It is an essential reading for all those who wish to understand the artist’s work to its fullest extent.

“Greece… Oh, it’s my love. I feel as if I were born here. I think that every artist who discovers Greece must feel the same…”

Isamu Noguchi
Image courtesy of Atelier Éditions and D.A.P

And for those who want to get in the mood until the book arrives, I recommend the accompanying digital feature on the Noguchi Museum website: Noguchi in Greece, Greece Within Noguchi

The book is co-published by Atelier Éditions and D.A.P. and comprised of an exquisitely designed two-volume box set.

Texts by Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Hsiao-Yun Chu, Dakin Hart, Isamu Noguchi, Nicolas Paissios, Jannis Varelas and Objects of Common Interest
Edited by Ananda Pellerin

"Noguchi And Greece, Greece And Noguchi" - A Book on the relationship between Isamu Noguchi, one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, and Greece.
Image courtesy of Atelier Éditions and D.A.P

Aesence is an independent art and design publication dedicated to minimalist aesthetics. Founded out of a deep appreciation and fascination, Aesence aims to promote awareness and appreciation of minimalism in art and design.