Tag Archives: isamu noguchi

Modern Art Monday Presents: Isamu Noguchi, Miss Expanding Universe

miss expanding universe by noguchi photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Born in the United States, Isamu Noguchi (19041988) lived in Japan until he was 13 years old, and was deeply affected by Japanese art and culture. In 1930, the artist returned to Japan to study its sculptural traditions and ceramics

miss expanding universe flying 1 photo by gail worley

Miss Expanding Universe (1932) was the first sculpture Noguchi made upon his return to the United States in 1932. In this work, he combined machine-age streamlining with characteristics of ancient Japanese funerary sculpture (haniwa).

miss expanding universe flying photo by gail worley

Later that same year, the artist transformed this flowing form into a sacklike costume for the pioneering dancer and choreographer Ruth Page and her ballet, Expanding Universe.

miss expanding universe photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube Sculpture

Red Cube
All Photos By Gail

The Financial District in Lower Manhattan is a playground for monumental public art installations, including Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube, which was installed on the plaza at 140 Broadway Between Cedar and Liberty Streets in 1968.

Red Cube 2

The diagonal lines of red painted steel stand in contrast to the stark horizontal and vertical lines of the adjacent front of the HSBC Building (formerly the Marine Midland Bank) by architect Gordon Bunshaft. Despite its title, the sculpture is not actually a cube, but instead seems as though it has been stretched along its vertical axis.

Red Cube 3

Aside from it’s striking color, Red Cube also stands out from the surrounding architecture in that all of its lines are diagonals, whereas the buildings are made up of horizontal and vertical lines. Additionally, the sculpture is balanced somewhat precariously on one corner, while the buildings, by contrast, and solidly placed.
Red Cube 4

Through the center of the cube there is a cylindrical hole, revealing an inner surface of gray with evenly-spaced lines moving from one opening of the hole to the other. Looking through this hole, the viewer’s gaze is directed skyward, towards the building behind, tying the sculpture and the architecture together.

Red Cube Hole

Red Cube is Located at 140 Broadway (at Liberty Street) New York, N.Y.10005. By Subway, Take the 4 or 5  to Wall Street Station.

Photos Below Added January 6, 2020

noguchi red cube photo by gail worley noguchi red cube photo by gail worley

Book Review: Art & Place

ART & PLACE Cover
All Images Courtesy of Phaidon

Hundreds of books about Art are published every year and it’s challenging for even hardcore Art enthusiasts like me to keep track of the best ones. But I don’t think I’ve yet come across a coffee table-sized Art book that I wanted to peruse cover-to-cover for hours in the way I do Art & Place: Site-Specific Art of The Americas — a comprehensive collection of public art, due out from Phaidon Press in November, 2013.

Continue reading Book Review: Art & Place

A Visit to The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City

Bronze Drop Noguchi Scupture
All Photos By Gail

When I find myself in what I would call a “Destination Neighborhood” – meaning an area that I wouldn’t normally be in except for a planned visit to a specific site or event – I always try to do as much as possible in that locale before returning home, because I probably won’t be going back any time soon. And so it happened that when Geoffrey and I made the haul out to Long Island City to visit the Socrates Sculpture Park, we also walked just a few blocks up Vernon Blvd to the Noguchi Museum, which Geoffrey had pegged as a stop well worth making. As usual, he was right on.

Noguchi Smooth Stone Sculpture Garden

Here is a little background on Noguchi from his Wikipedia entry, in case you are unfamiliar with his work. Isamu Noguchi was a prominent Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.

Noguchi Smooth Stone Fountain Sculpture Garden

Stone Noguchi Sculpture

In 1947, Noguchi began a collaboration with the Herman Miller company, when he joined with George Nelson, Paul László and Charles Eames to produce a catalog containing what is often considered to be the most influential body of modern furniture ever produced, including the iconic Noguchi table which remains in production today.

Noguchi Smooth Stone Sculpture Plus Penis

The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum is devoted to the preservation, documentation, presentation, and interpretation of Noguchi’s work. It is the first Museum in America established by a living artist of his own work, and it contains the world’s richest holdings of Noguchi’s art.

Noguchi Stone Round Stone Sculpture

The Museum honors and preserves Noguchi’s minimalist design aesthetic, exhibiting a core group of works for permanent viewing, with other works on rotation. It’s amazing how the museum was designed to display his sculptures in the most appropriate setting, which includes a semi-open main floor plan, a gorgeous green Sculpture Garden and several floors of pristine stone and wood floor galleries that serve to make Noguchi’s sculptures seem as if they are in their perfect, organic surroundings.

Noguchi Metal Sculptures

The layout of the museum definitely enhanced our enjoyment of the art and of the visit experience overall.

Noguchi Round Stone Sculptures

Isamu Noguchi passed away on December 30, 1988, at the age of 84, but his work lives on in this fantastic museum that is a must-see for lovers of art and design.

Noguchi Stone Sculpture Protoypes

The Noguchi Museum is Located at 9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City, NY 11106. Hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 AM -6:00 PM, Closed Monday & Tuesday. Visit This Link for complete information including travel directions by car and subway, and admission prices.

Noguchi Museum Signage

Noguchi Stone Black and White Sculpture