Another Land: After Noguchi, an exhibition of photographs by Leah Raintree, extends the more than century-old tradition of astrophotography to consider the microcosms inherent in the sculptures of Isamu Noguchi.
In the summer of 2015, Raintree embarked on a project at neighboring Socrates Sculpture Park that joined two sources of inspiration: her studies of Noguchi’s mark-making on stone and a recent mission by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe, which streamed images of Comet 67P back to Earth while landing a smaller craft on its surface. With the enigmatic photographs taken by Rosetta during its approach to 67P in mind, she reimagined a small granite stone that she sculpted and then photographed as a distant asteroid. Shortly thereafter Raintree began a similar photographic investigation of The Noguchi Museum collection.
Raintree’s work frames the relationship between human activity and its environmental impacts through process, as functions of material and scale. She engages mark-making through drawing, performative interactions with matter, and documentation of found marks within phenomena. Her interest lies in expanded time frames, often embedding distinctly human marks within ambient accumulations that mimic geology. She found a kindred spirit, and an abundance of information, in Noguchi, whose postwar stone sculptures seize on qualities inherent to quarried rock, amplifying fractures and breakages to reveal the geological passage of time—and, correspondingly, set up an extended metaphor for the limited nature of human existence.