Artist Portrait - Isamu Noguchi

Artist Portrait - Isamu Noguchi

Posted by Objects and Finds on

A new occasional series exploring the life and work of artists who inspire Objects & Finds.

Isamu Noguchi 1904, Los Angeles - 1988, New York.

Isamu Noguchi was born on November 17, 1904 in Los Angeles. His Japanese father was a poet and his American mother a writer. In 1906 the family moved to Japan. He was sent to Indiana for schooling in 1918 and in 1922 he apprenticed to the sculptor Gutzon Borglum in Connecticut. For the next two years he was a premedical student at Columbia University, New York and took sculpture classes at the Leonardo da Vinci Art School, also in New York.

Noguchi decided to become an artist and left Columbia in 1925. A John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1927 enabled him to go to Paris, where he worked as Constantin Brancusi's studio assistant. In Paris he became friendly with Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis and Jules Pascin. Noguchi returned to New York in 1928 and the following year showed abstract sculpture in his first solo show at the Eugene Schoen Gallery.

In 1930, Noguchi travelled in Europe and Asia studying calligraphy in China and pottery in Japan. In New York during the early 1930's he associated with Archile Gorky, John Graham, Chaim Gross and Moses and Raphael Soyer and introduced social content to his work.


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