Archive for Sunday, May 2, 1999


May 2, 1999


Noguchi works arrive at Nelson-Atkins

Several events are planned in conjunction with the Isamu Noguchi sculpture exhibit.

From J-W staff reports

Kansas City, Mo. -- A group of five masterworks -- four in stone and one in bronze -- by 20th-century sculptor Isamu Noguchi will be on display through June 13 at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St.

Four of the sculptures will join two Noguchi works already in the Nelson-Atkins' collection in the museum's Kirkwood Hall. The fifth sculpture will be on view outdoors in the Kansas City Sculpture Park on the museum's grounds.

The works include "Avatar," a bronze inspired by Surrealism, Hinduism and Japanese flower arrangements; "Mountain Landscape (Bench)," a basalt work that combines refined and roughly carved surfaces; "Ends," a large empty cube of Swedish black granite supported by timbers; "Fountain," a two-element fountain of rose-colored basalt; and "Endless Coupling," a Swedish red granite inspired by surrealistic imagery.

The sculptures will be on long-term loan to the museum from the Hall Family Foundation.

Noguchi was born in Los Angeles in 1904 of a Japanese mother and American father, but he was raised in Japan. He returned to the United States as a teen and studied art in college, later traveling to Europe in his early 20s and apprenticing with sculptor Constantin Brancusi.

He traveled to Asia in the early 1930s, then returned to the United States and embarked on a long career creating sculptures, gardens, stage environments and lighting, furniture and interiors. He died in 1988.

During the last 20 years of his life, he divided his time between his studio in New York and his studio in Mure, a small village on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan.

Several events have been planned in conjunction with the sculpture exhibition:

  • "Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper," video, through June 13, Kirkwood Hall.
  • "Rock of Ages -- The Art of Stone Carving," gallery walk, 7 p.m. Friday, information desk.
  • "Shaping Stone," demonstration by artist David de Rouseau, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, East Garden, and "East and West," theater and dance performance by Andrew Tsubaki, Muriel Cohan and Patrick Suzeau, Kansas University faculty members, and Yoshiko Yamanaka, of Kansas City, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Atkins Auditorium.
  • "Anatomy of an Installation: Isamu Noguchi," lecture by Nelson-Atkins staff, 7 p.m. May 21, Atkins Auditorium.
  • "Isamu Noguchi and the Museum's Japanese Art Gallery," gallery walk, 2 p.m. May 22, information desk.
  • "Water and Stone -- a Noguchi Fountain Joins a Kansas City Tradition," a trolley tour of Kansas City's fountains, 10 a.m.-noon June 5.

For more information about the events, call the museum at (816) 561-4000.

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