Isamu Noguchi (Barbican, Museum Ludwig)
Fabienne Eggelhöfer, Rita Kersting and Florence Ostende
Barbican, Museum Ludwig, Zentrum Paul Klee & Prestel, 2021
Certain to become the definitive book on Noguchi’s multidisciplinary career, this publication accompanies the first major touring European exhibition on the Japanese-American artist in twenty years, which will travel from London’s Barbican Art Gallery to Cologne’s Museum Ludwig and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. It encompasses the entirety of the artist’s work in sculpture, ceramics, photography, architecture, design, as well as his playscapes, gardens and stage sets for modern dance and theatre performance. This survey explores his creative process and lesser-known aspects of his practice, his engagement with a wide range of mediums and cultures, and his innovative achievements over six decades.
Brimming with stunning imagery and contributions from an international range of authors, this book helps readers grasp the diversity and patterns of Noguchi’s work both in situ and in galleries. Archival photographs of the artist’s studios offer glimpses into his experimental attitude towards sculpture. Themes of harmony and dissonance, which were central to Noguchi’s practice, are explored in a series of essays that consider the artist’s dual heritage, the Japanese American experience, his worldwide travel and his many influences. The book examines the cultural diversity of Noguchi’s practice as he addresses themes such as identity, history, and politics. It also pays tribute to Noguchi’s fruitful collaborations with creatives from a range of industries, such as R. Buckminster Fuller, Martha Graham and Louis Kahn. Throughout the monograph Noguchi’s own words provide a critical backdrop towards understanding an artist who embraced many schools of thought, and whose entire life and career set an example for partnership and cooperation across artistic, political and cultural boundaries.