Isamu Noguchi in a Lobi chair in his Long Island City studio, c. 1960s. The Noguchi Museum Archive.

Noguchi: Body-Space Devices

May 15, 2019 – May 2, 2021

The first of a two-part exhibition with artist Brendan Fernandes (b. 1979), a dancer, choreographer, and sculptor, Noguchi: Body-Space Devices is an installation of works from the Museum’s collection.

At the heart of Noguchi’s conception of sculpture is the production of a powerful set of invisible forces between object, viewer, and space. The works in the exhibition reflect Noguchi’s lifelong interest in turning sculpture into a civic practice, from motivating movement of an individual body in relation to an object, to the flow of a company of dancers seeking collective meaning within a set, and, finally, to social progress. Body–Space Devices is a selective survey of the strategies Noguchi used to implicate the body in his work across a wide range of disciplines, encompassing literal use (sets, furniture, play equipment) to works that imply a constructor (puzzle-like interlocking sculptures), and empathy-invoking biomorphic abstractions. The installation also includes a selection of inspirational objects personally collected by Noguchi. (A number of these objects are highlighted in the digital feature Noguchi as Collector.)

From September 11, 2019 through March 8, 2020, Body-Space Devices was reconfigured as the site of Brendan Fernandes: Contract and Release.

Noguchi: Body-Space Devices is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.