Isamu Noguchi (Los Angeles 1904-1988)
“Noguchi has a genius for doing two stupid things and making something extraordinary out of the combination.” - Fellow designer George Nelson. Through a lifetime of artistic experimentation, Noguchi created sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs. Noguchi’s sculptural background is so immediately apparent in his furniture from theTribeca table to the Cyclone table to even a mass produced tea cup he designed. Like many other designers of the time, Noguchi’s background in another medium informed his work and helped him create new forms in furniture design. Noguchi was born in 1904 in Los Angeles. The son of a Japanese father and American mother, Noguchi lived in Japan until he was a teenager. He continued his education in the states and was attending Columbia University with the intent of becoming a physician when a serendipitous night class he took on sculpture connected him to his one true passion. He abandoned pre-med to focus on sculpture and the world of art, sculpture and furniture was forever altered. Noguchi was predominately a sculptor, working in a variety of media and museums far and wide are filled with the body of his work. Perhaps that is why his small cadre of household items is so widely loved and coveted. To have a piece of art, mass produced though it may be, is one of the closest connections to his talent and the work of his hands that an everyday person can have.