Over the course of his career, Isamu Noguchi made, commissioned, and collaborated on dozens of models for actual and theoretical spaces. Models for Spaces, presented in Area 5 on the first floor, features a selection of designs for projects that are either lesser known or for which the models have rarely been shown. These include Model of Gardens for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, 1956–57, Bloomfield, Connecticut (project realized; model fabricated 1999–2000 by AT Architects); Memorial to Buddha on the 2500th Anniversary of Buddha’s Paranamnirvana, 1957, New Delhi, India (project unrealized; model partially reconstructed 1978); Sacred Rocks of Kukaniloko, 1976, Oahu, Hawaii (project unrealized); Model for Heaven (Tengoku), c. 1977–78, Tokyo, Japan (project realized); and Model for California Scenario, Costa Mesa, c. 1980–82 (project realized; model fabricated by Fuller & Sadao, P.C.).
As a whole, the exhibition reflects Noguchi’s belief in sculpture as the manipulation of our experience of space. In his words, “if sculpture is the rock, it is also the space between rocks and between the rock and a man, and the communication and contemplation between.”