DRAWING

Although he filled scores of sketchbooks with ideas for sculptures, stage sets and furniture designs, Isamu Noguchi did only three groups of drawings meant for exhibition. The first of these were black and white gouache abstractions related to his first abstract sculptures, created in Paris in 1927-28 after the young Noguchi had finished a short apprenticeship with Constantin Brancusi. (Noguchi also drew posed models in the Paris academies during these years.) The second set of finished drawings were ambitious figurative works, ink brush paintings on large scrolls done in Beijing in 1930 under the tutelage of the master Ch'i Pai-shih. The third group of exhibition works were a variety of construction drawings, sheets of cut-out forms representing the parts of his interlocking sculptures of the 1940s. In addition to the sculptural ideas contained in his sketchbooks, Noguchi also drew a great deal while traveling in Southeast Asia on a grant from the Bollingen Foundation in 1949-50, documenting both architectural sites and the peoples he visited.