Isamu Noguchi American

Not on view

Born in Los Angeles to an American mother and Japanese father, Isamu Noguchi was a prolific sculptor, designer, ceramicist, and architect of great importance to the last third of the twentieth-century. His sources of influence range across the globe, encompassing ancient Mexican architecture to Japanese gardens and ceramics of Japan to Chinese ink drawings. A year spent working in the studio of Constantin Brancusi cemented his commitment to modernism, whose language he filtered through his study of the natural world. Conceived in 1962, Solitude was originally constucted out of balsa wood. This might account for its sense of life, delicacy, and lightness, characteristics countered by the obdurate materiality of bronze. The work is abstract but vaguely anthropomorphic, thanks to its height and attenuation. Its central column is attached to a short pedestal at the bottom and a square cap at the top. Seeming to dangle from the cap are two additional "limbs," one shorter than the other. They flair out ever so slightly. Solitude's style merges geometry and organicism: all lines are curved and all corners soft.

Solitude, Isamu Noguchi (American, Los Angeles, California 1904–1988 New York), Bronze

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© The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society