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Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi (* 1904 in Los Angeles/USA; 1988 in New York/USA) is widely considered among the most important sculptors and designers of his day. The son of Japanese poet Yone Noguchi and the American writer Leonie Gilmour, he studied at Columbia University and the Leonardo da Vinci Art School and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927. He subsequently worked as an assistant to Constantin Brancusi in Paris, presented his first solo exhibition in New York, studied brush drawing in China and worked with ceramics under Jinmatsu Uno in Japan. His experiences of living and working in different cultural circles are reflected in his work as an artist. For example, during his stay in Japan in 1951, he developed a strong enthusiasm for Asian lamps made of paper and bamboo. Noguchi subsequently combined traditional manufacturing techniques with new shapes, replaced the candles with electric bulbs, and thus created the first Akaris - light sculptures from Shoji paper for daily use. Isamu Noguchi is considered a universal talent with a creative oeuvre that went beyond sculpture to encompass stage sets, furniture, lighting, interiors as well as outdoor plazas and gardens, including components of the Hiroshima Peace Garden. His sculptural style is indebted to a vocabulary of organic forms and exerted a sustained influence on the design of the 1950s. "My father, Yone Noguchi, is Japanese and has long been known as an interpreter of the East to the West, through poetry", wrote Noguchi in his proposal for a Guggenheim Fellowship, "I wish to fulfil my heritage".

Designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi


More about 'Isamu Noguchi' in our blog

Isamu Noguchi at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne

..."Everything is sculpture" opined once Isamu Noguchi... The exhibtion Isa­mu Noguchi in the Mu­se­um Lud­wig, Cologne, allows one to engage with, reflect on, immerse yourself in Isamu Noguchi's life and work, and thus to better approach your own opinion on Isamu Noguchi's firmly held conviction...

5 New Architecture & Design Exhibitions for September 2021

..."Noguchi" at The Barbican Art Gallery, London, England As oft noted, for all that Isamu Noguchi is popularly considered a product designer, of all the things Isamu Noguchi was, he was arguably least of all a product designer... And whatever else Isamu Noguchi was, he was always a sculptor...

Lost Furniture Design Classics: Model 9 Table Lamp by Isamu Noguchi for Knoll Associates

...Throughout his numerous lives and careers Isamu Noguchi practised as an artist, set designer, garden designer, furniture designer, lighting designer, etc... Isamu Noguchi's most popularly known work is inarguably his Akari lamps, yet before Akari there came a lamp which in many regards exists more in context of the man and his art than its more famous relations...

smow blog compact: Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson and the Ball Clock

...And so by way of a reprise to our recent post celebrating Isamu Noguchi's birthday, we present, with thanks to Stanley Abercrombie's ever excellent and easily recommendable George Nelson biography, George Nelson's recollections on Isamu Noguchi and his role in the creation of the famous Ball Clock...

(smow) blog Design Calendar: November 17th 1904 – Happy Birthday Isamu Noguchi!

...One of the best known and most fascinating being without question the sculptor and artist Isamu Noguchi... Following his gradation from high school in 1922 Isamu Noguchi began studying medicine at Columbia University; however, having become fascinated, if not infatuated, by and with sculpture and art in general, he quit his medical studies in 1924 to devote himself fully to sculpture...


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