Isamu Noguchi

Master Sculptor

Valerie Fletcher; Dana Miller; Bonnie Rychlak

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 342 6

    Size: 304 x 230 mm / 9 x 12 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 236

    In association with:

    Date published: October, 2004

    UK £35 /US $49.95


  • Published to accompany a celebration of Noguchi’s work
  • Focuses on his most varied and innovative works
  • Includes over 65 sculptures and over 25 works on paper


The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York are co-organising a long-overdue celebration and re-evaluation of the achievements in sculpture of Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). Although known for his commissioned designs for stage and gardens, Noguchi is most renowned for his sculptures created over a span of six decades. Previous exhibitions and publications have situated his sculptures within the context of his commercial designs; in contrast, the Whitney-Hirshhorn exhibition and catalogue will emphasise the most varied and innovative sculptures from the late 1920s through the late 1960s, including 65-70 sculptures, 20-25 works on paper and many rarely seen works. Emboldened and inspired by the ideas and styles of expatriate Surrealists in New York in the 1940s, Noguchi embraced their desire to create art capable of transporting the mind beyond the mundane world. Nearly a dozen of these imposing sculptures in wood, black slate, green slate, pink granite, white marble, and patinated bronze will be featured, including the Whitney’s Humpty-Dumpty and Gunas, the Hirshhorn’s Cronos, the Noguchi Foundation’s Remembrance, Strange Bird and Seed, as well as others from private collections. The slender limbs, elegant curves, and penetrating and interlocking forms of these mysterious figural apparitions have a tremendous presence, inviting viewers to confront them and interpret them individually. Related drawings and collages reveal surprisingly aggressive tendencies and sexual innuendoes, as well as pragmatic approaches to design and construction, providing fascinating glimpses into an artist’s creative processes.

Author information

Valerie J. Fletcher is Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Dana Miller is Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Bonnie Rychlak is Curator at the Noguchi Museum.