I could never believe that the experience of sculpture had to be restricted to vision only. The making and ownership of art could also be beyond personal possession—a common and free experience.

Isamu Noguchi

In parallel with his first commissioned public works, History Mexico at Mercado Abelardo Rodriguez in Mexico City (1935–36) and News (Associated Press Building Plaque) in New York City (1938–40), Noguchi had begun to envision an expanded definition of sculpture more directly related to the lived experience. Over the next five decades Noguchi’s playgrounds, fountains, gardens, private courtyards, and civic spaces would inhabit the conceptual umbrella of “the sculpture of spaces.” A visual mapping of his extant public projects (with nearly as many unrealized proposals besides) is a testament to his willingness to work with collaborators across the globe.

By Matthew Kirsch

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