Born in Los Angeles, California, to an American mother and a Japanese father, Noguchi lived in Japan until the age of thirteen, when he moved to Indiana. Coming from the Orient during the time period, it is easy to understand why Noguchi set out to have such strict and imposing rules for his artwork. Constantly emphasising on purity of form as ways of working, he obsessed with having his work be 'honest' rather than to recast them out of different materials like plaster.
I guess he was in his way trying to preserve what little culture he felt he could still have and express them, he worked in stone mostly and later granite, creating architectural forms, landscapes with both geometric and organic shapes. After seeing an exhibition in New York, Noguchi worked at Brancusi’s studio. Inspired by the older artist’s reductive forms, Noguchi turned to modernism and a kind of abstraction, infusing his highly finished pieces with a lyrical and emotional expressiveness, and with an aura of mystery. His sculptural works dealing with the void came out of these experience no doubt however, his later years where he turned to mass production of his interior designs is what fascinates me the most.
He was undoubtedly and artist and designer who boldly rode the lines that separate the two. Noguchi managed to change design of industrialised objects through minimalism rooted fundamentally in art. This tumblr site called "Fuck Your Noguchi Table" catalogs interior spaces that I think is reminiscent of Noguchi's industrial designs and art pieces.
While the article made Noguchi sound like an uptight person who is overly controlling over the material and make of objects, I would like to end with this quote from Noguchi found on the Herman Milller website.
"To limit yourself to a particular style may make you an expert of that particular viewpoint or school, but I do not wish to belong to any school,I am always learning, always discovering."
thinks and things
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