noguchimuseum

Noguchi is perhaps best known for his Akari lanterns, which he made of paper, bamboo, and metal (he often called them light sculptures). This large-scale version is on view in the @noguchimuseum’s second floor. Of the Akari lamps, Noguchi said, “For me, function was only an initial consideration; my main purpose has always been art as it relates to life. I work with the gamut of possibilities. Inherent in Akari are lightness and fragility. They seem to offer a magical unfolding away from the material world.”-madmuseum (Instagram)

Isamu Noguchi, Cloud, 1958-59, aluminum

One of a series of works from a period when Noguchi was without a studio in New York, instead taking advantage of the tools and materials in his friend Edison Price’s workshop, where he could work after Price’s Unionized employees knocked off for the day. (Price was a lighting designer who worked with the premier architects of his day and whose innovations became the standard for museum lighting.)  Noguchi set about creating this series by imposing one technical constraint: the resulting works could be bent, scored, cut and otherwise shaped using just a single sheet of aluminum. 

Photo by Kevin Noble

The Noguchi Museum

Isamu Noguchi, Model for Swimming Pool for Josef von Sternberg, 1935, painted plaster

On a visit to Los Angeles, Isamu Noguchi met the architect Richard Neutra, then in the process of designing a house for the Austrian emigre film director, Josef von Sternberg.  Noguchi later described his abandoned design as the first “lozenge-shaped pool.”

Photo: Dmitri Kessel

The Noguchi Museum

Portrait of Frida Kahlo found in Isamu Noguchi’s archives, ca. 1930s.

Happy, Birthday, Frida Kahlo!

In all likelihood, this photo was taken by Noguchi during the time he was working on his commission at the Mercado Abelardo Rodrigues in Mexico City in 1936.  The pair stayed in touch throughout the 1940s, when Frida made occasional visits to New York for treatments for her ongoing ailments. A framed collection of butterflies hangs above Frida’s bed in the Casa Azul in Mexico City, a gift from Noguchi.  

The Noguchi Museum Archive

Portrait of Frida Kahlo found in Isamu Noguchi’s archives, ca. 1930s.

In all likelihood, this photo was taken by Noguchi during the time he was working on his commission at the Mercado Abelardo Rodrigues in Mexico City in 1936.  The pair stayed in touch throughout the 1940s, when Frida made occasional visits to New York for treatments for her ongoing ailments. A framed collection of butterflies hangs above Frida’s bed in the Casa Azul in Mexico City, a gift from Noguchi.  

The Noguchi Museum Archive