Sunday, September 30, 2012

MWA VII: Noguchi's Core

I realize I'm just barely getting this in today, the last day of September, but I want this month's MWA to be by Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), as I finally went to Long Island City on September 15 to visit for the first time the Noguchi Museum. It was just fantastic. The installations in the gardens and indoor/outdoor museum building epitomized the usually impossible feat of balancing the industrial with the organic. The monumentality of these exquisite stone sculptures was awe-inspiring to me. I realize I seem a bit overly enthusiastic, but visiting the Noguchi Museum and seeing his works reaffirmed for me two things I've discovered about myself in the study of sculpture. The first is that I have a stronger affinity for stone over metal, because of its organic quality. The Zen-like space in the sculpture seen here makes me feel the stone can breathe. The second discovery is that in circumambulating sculpture in the round I have a much greater appreciation for how it occupies space and how we and it speak to one another. The fact that his works are abstract only make this kind of interactive quality more personal and self-reflective. Of course I see the influences of Brancusi, Hepworth, and Chabo on Noguchi, but what that tells me is how they were part of a new generation of sculptors who amplified the vitality of nature by carving natural stone. This particular work by Noguchi is Core (Cored Sculpture), 1978, basalt. Here are a few other pictures I took of the installations and work currently on display at the museum.

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