A dad and his daughters, loving life in New York City

Tuesday, August 22

Noguchi Museum

There are signs everywhere begging you not to, but at some point during your visit here, you're going to succumb to the urge: you are going to touch at least one of the 35 or so stone, metal, wood or clay sculptures that are the centerpiece of this lovely little museum. Maybe just for a compulsive instant, maybe for a furtive, more sustained caress, but trust me: Isamu Noguchi's best work is irresistible.

DGlass and I made our maiden voyage to the renovated and expanded Noguchi Museum last Saturday—it's a fairly quick trip on the N/W to the Broadway stop in Long Island City, then an easy ten block walk, more details here—and both of us were thoroughly charmed to be surrounded by so many compelling pieces in such a pretty environment. Some of Noguchi's work is so smooth and inviting it's hard not fantasize how cool and gentle it would feel against your cheek. Other pieces are rocky, rough-hewn, scarred with striations, and with an intense visual density. Still more masterfully combine textures, or sometimes shapes, in unique, provocative ways.The current exhibition on the museum's second floor focuses on Noguchi's decades-long friendship and artistic collaboration with Buckminster Fuller. It's solid and informative, but perhaps the most exciting discovery of our day was Noguchi's delightful playground and play-equipment designs (many proposed for New York City; most, sadly, never realized) as well his fantastic fountains and other creative contributions to public space in the United States, Japan, Mexico, and Italy. As DGlass said, it's rare (and welcome) that such an accomplished and aesthetically ambitious artist has also been so active in sharing his vision with the everyday world.

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Anonymous DGlass said...

It took me until the second paragraph, but I totally noticed... wow! And you've gotta love those striations.

4:59 PM, August 22, 2006


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