Barbican Art Gallery, London
Sculpture can be a vital force in our everyday life if projected into communal usefulness.’ Isamu Noguchi
Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904 – 1988) is one of the most experimental and important artists of the 20th century. Barbican Art Gallery is pleased to stage the first European touring retrospective of his work in 20 years. This exhibition is jointly organised and curated by Barbican Centre (London), Museum Ludwig (Cologne) and Zentrum Paul Klee (Bern), in partnership with LaM - Lille Métropole Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut.
Retracing the evolution of Noguchi’s kaleidoscopic career over six decades across sculpture, architecture, dance and design, the exhibition celebrates the artist’s inventive and risk-taking approach to sculpture as a living environment. Drawing from The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York, as well as private and public collections, the exhibition brings together over 150 works, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – created in stone, bronze, ceramics, wood, aluminium and galvanised steel – as well as theatre set designs, architectural and playground models, lighting and furniture design. Noguchi opens at Barbican Art Gallery on 30 September 2021.
Mostly known as an icon of mid-century design for his celebrated coffee table and Akari lights, Noguchi pushed the boundaries of sculpture by embracing social, environmental and spiritual consciousness. This major survey celebrates Noguchi as a global citizen travelling across the world to China, Mexico and India, amongst other countries. Rarely exhibited archive materials and photographs also offer illuminating insights into the life of Noguchi, son of a Japanese father and American mother, highlighting the humanist values of this visionary artist.