Time to live: Noguchi at the Barbican

Explore the kaleidoscopic career of a “true artistic polymath”

As a new exhibition, Noguchi, opens at the Barbican in London we look at what’s behind the pioneering Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi.

Born in 1904 to poet Yone Noguchi and the American writer Leonie Gilmour, his work crossed cultural boundaries and spanned six decades, leaving a body of work as diverse as lighting, furniture, stage sets and outdoor gardens.

It’s this commitment to sculpture as a living environment as well as being a global citizen that is at the heart of the exhibition.

After studying at Columbia University and the Leonardo da Vinci art school, he received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1927. In his proposal he talked about how his Japanese American heritage shaped him:

“My father, Yone Noguchi, is Japanese and has long been known as an interpreter of the East and West, through poetry. I wish to do the same thing  through sculpture”.

Noguchi’s Dining Table for Vitra dates back to the mid 1950’s and is iconic, sculptural and one of the most elegant dining tables of the twentieth century.  The cast iron ring-shaped base offers weighty support with a beautifully crafted metal rod stem.

Click to shop Noguchi for Vitra


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