Isamu Noguchi

When 8 Sep 2015 - 13 Dec 2015
Where Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225
United States

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is pleased to announce a special fall installation, Isamu Noguchi at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a presentation of sculptures by the renowned Japanese-American artist. Organized in collaboration with The Noguchi Museum, New York, and curated by the Museum’s senior curator, Dakin Hart, the show includes 18 works by Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) from the Museum’s permanent collection, sited throughout BBG’s outdoor and indoor public gardens. Ranging in date from the mid-1940s to the mid-1980s, the sculptures are on view from September 8 through December 13, 2015.

The centerpiece of the installation includes eight works in BBG’s iconic Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Opened in 1915 and considered the masterpiece of landscape designer Takeo Shiota (1881–1943), this was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden and is one of the oldest and most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan. Isamu Noguchi at Brooklyn Botanic Garden coincides with the 100th anniversary of BBG’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and The Noguchi Museum’s 30th anniversary.

Among the works placed in the landscape of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is Rain Mountain (1982–83). The eight-foot-tall, hot-dipped galvanized steel sculpture is installed just outside the north entrance of the garden, serving as an invitation to explore the gently rolling landscape within. Jack-in-the-Box (1984), a large bronze-plate work reminiscent of the children’s toy, and a paper, bamboo, and metal Akari lamp, model 33X (1968), are sited inside the garden’s viewing pavilion. Strange Bird (1945), a bronze semi-abstract work installed on the turtle island, recalls a pair of bronze crane originally located there when the Japanese garden first opened 100 years ago. Sky Mirror (1970), a low-slung basalt piece with a highly polished surface, is located on the small promontory between the waiting pavilion and the pond, angled to catch the morning light. Here, it embodies one of Noguchi’s most important reference points: the yin-yang relationship between water and stone, seeming opposites—solid/liquid, moving/still—that are in fact intimately related in nature, where they shape each other.

The installation extends to other areas of Brooklyn Botanic Garden as well. Several of Noguchi’s interpretations of rock formations, for example, are installed along the grassy hillsides near BBG’s Rock Garden; other works are displayed in the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum, the Desert Pavilion, the Osborne Garden, the Plant Family Collection, Cherry Esplanade, the Native Flora Garden, and Ginkgo Allée.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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