Isamu Noguchi, Gregory, 1945. Slate interlocking sculpture.


The name Gregory refers to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. I also thought of the Cook Island figure Rarotonga while making it. This was one of five stone pieces in the exhibition 14 Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in 1946. The largest, 9 feet 9 inches, was Kouros, a pink Georgia marble now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I had devised a way of working stone using a diamond wheel rigged into a flexible shaft headpiece helped by a vicelike affair which could be moved along. Even slate could then be carved without too much percussion. The museum is fortunate to have two of these originals, unfortunate not to have more.
Original Noguchi Collection
Quotations by Isamu Noguchi from The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987), unless otherwise noted.