European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives May 24 1968, Page 12

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - May 24, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseA is Vilican sculptor with a japanese accent pc it h 4sjp sculptor Noguchi in his Long Island factory studio Peers out from Between towering examples of his creatives Kil in the world of sculpture today a maelstrom of welding torches plastic models walk in pop assemblages of life it is almost ironic to realize that Isamu Noguchi is considered old fashioned and even commercial. Gleaming Buir of Friend Bucklin for Fuller was shaped in 1929. Page 12 by Sam Bauman staff writer the new York times Tongue in Chee called him a kind of a it was t too Long ago that then Newyork City director of Parks Robert Moses dripped sarcasm All Over one of Noguchi s dreams of a Happy function Al playground and tossed it out. And i Twain t too Many years ago that his smooth abstractions were a Good joke in the daily press and a bit of a baffle ment to the general Public. But today Noguchi 63, a lean an intense Man who lives in a one Story factory studio in Long Island City Isa solid member of the world Art establishment. His tremendous output sculpture stage sets gardens Furni Ture memorials and his fantastic Range have won wide acceptance not Only among the Art critics but also with the casual viewer passing by say his massive red cube with a Hole i front of Manhattan s Midland building. If it were needed and it was t Noguchi has received the final stamp of approval this year with a giant retrospective show now at new York s Whitney museum and the publication of his richly illustrated terse autobiography a sculptor s world Harper and Row. The exhibit May be a pleasure but the Book is a pure Delight photos on these pages reproduced from the Book with permission of the pub Lishers Noguchi was born in los Angeles Theson of a japanese poet professor his Mother was the american writer Leonie Gilmour and the clash of his sometimes conflicting heritage seemed to give him an extra strength. I m the fusion of two worlds the East and the West he said and yet i Hope to reflect More than Noguchi spent his Early years in Japan most Happy when he was most japanese building his own Rock Garden carving animals in Cherry Wood learn ing the carpentry that was to serve him later in his Art. He was most unhappy when forced to attend St. Joseph s school in Yokohama isolated from All that was important i.e.,japanese. His Mother sent him to the unite states for schooling in 1917, and it was a crucial experience. He was to attend the Interlaken school in Indiana and he do for a summer. But the school did t open in the fall it was taken Over As a training Camp by the and Noguchi had no place to go. He spent the Winter there with care takers after the army vacated follow ing the armistice. He Rode a horse for mail and food and finally began study no at the local High school. Luck ily his education was taken Over by the founder of Interlaken and he did com plete his Basic education. By that time he knew that he wanted to sculpt and he was Given a Chance in the studio of Gutzon Borglum a Stamford Conn. But after posing on horses for Borglum who was preparing a massive group for a town me Noguchi created this table of Roi in 1939, helped set a style that lives on in today s modern designs. Why do i continuously go Back to Japan except to renew my Contact Vith the Earth How exquisitely functional Are their traditional tools. Soon these too will be displaced by the machine. In the meantime i go there like a beggar or a thief seeking the last warmth of the Earth. Martha Graham Noguchi set in Cave of mortal and learning sonic of the techniques of casting Noguchi left. In the end Borglum told me i would never be a sculptor so i decided to a come a doctor writes Noguchi. A few years at Columbia in new Jot convinced Noguchi that he was simply. A sculptor and nothing else. By then 1924 Noguchi s Mother Baa returned from Japan where she Jong since broken with ins a convinced him that he should study the Leonardo a Vinci Art saw where after three months lie Naa first one Man show. By now nog Dii pc life had Given its shape. Come what new rejection by his father in a a a Mienl As a Nisei in a a note Taw k world War ii in America Travett China and life in pars a actress and inevitable Divorty Ujj and glory he Wos a sculptor. A the stars and stripes a Carver in the great tradition . A Guggenheim Fellowship sent Himi Paris where he by a Fluke fell in Ith the great modernist sculptor con Janton Brancusi about whom he said imply i was transfixed by his unable to Converse directly either spoke the other s language the Avo communicated through the eyes Frough gesture and through the May als and tools to be Noguchi spent two years in Paris pen moved to peking after his father a hinted that he would be unwelcome Japan under his own Nam where studied under the master Painter " Pai Shi. Despite his father s oppose on Noguchi then visited Tokyo Whereat was lionized and at the same time ironed some of the techniques of Jap Liisse ceramics. Law 1932 Noguchi returned to new Oik. America was of course in the 24, 1968 detail of Noguchi s Hiroshima Bridge he called Tsukuro to depart. Isamu Noguchi beginning of a grim depression but curiously it was also in the Middle of a great outpouring of Art. It was Al most As if economic adversity forced a deep inner look at and appreciation of values. Noguchi who had earlier Cai Ved something of a Niche for himself with his busts it was a matter of eating was Well represented wit shows and gallery exhibits but sales were stomach rumbling applied for commissions with the works Progress administration but Wasky Down on the grounds he was too after making some head sin Hollywood for Money he travel de to Mexico where he was commissioned to do a coloured Cement Wall some 6 feet High and 22 Yards had awhile done some Brilliant stage design for a Thalia Ham s dance company. He looked at Heater design As an Opportunity to sculpt space to bring the setting into a intimate Contact with the dancers his design for miss Graham s Cave of the heart with music by Samuel bar Ber was a highly successful blending of Hance music and design. At moments in the dance the Green Serpent with its Tendril like superstructure be comes a major Force melding with he meaning and the movement of the dance As the Whitney exhibit Cata Logue notes. The postwar period Noguchi continued to travel and turned his Atten Tion to gardens not vegetable obviously but More elaborate oases Forest largely in the japanese style he also designed two Bridges to the Hiro Shima peace Monument but lost out on the peace memorial design itself through Art infighting. He Felt this rejection strongly just As he was later to feel strongly about the rejection of his design for a memorial for president John f. in the austere factory studio near Manhattan where he lives As Wellas works he is a financial Success commercial but he is far from satisfied. Noting his rejection by Hiro Shima and later by the Kennedy Mem orial group Noguchi writes however perversely 1 could no help feeling that i had been rejected by America As i had by a Large extent Noguchi is a lonely the stars and stripes solitary Man. He is chary with inter views does not mix in either the Art world or the political Arena. He lose enthusiasm when the crowd catches up with him. That s when a style lose the keen Edge of originality. That s Why i m always off on my own Little investigations in a Way i m an eternal no vice at another time he said of his Art sculpture May be made of anything and will be valued for its intrinsic qualities however it seems to me that the natural mediums of Wood and Stone alive before Man was have the greater capacity to Comfort us with the reality of our being. They Are As familiar Searth. In our times we think to control nature Only to find that in the end it escapes for one return recurrently to the Earth in my search for the meaning of sculpture. I believe in the activity of Stone actual or illusionary and i Gravity As a vital element. Sculpture is the definition of form in space Visi ble to the Mobile Spectator As a participant. Sculptures move because we move not Long ago Noguchi was chatting with a Friend who was pointing out that he is probably America s greatest Sculp Tor with an output similar to that of Picasso Noguchi i m a very successful unsuccessful cuts to the Bone. Page \3

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