- Isamu Noguchi
- Akari & Shop
On May 10, 2016, The Noguchi Museum hosted its annual benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award presentation, honoring architect Tadao Ando and artist Elyn Zimmerman. There was also a silent auction of seven works relating to the Museum’s artist collaborations that year. From The Noguchi Museum | A Portrait, two Tina Barney photographs—The Big Bang (2013) and The White Shirt (2014)—and four Stephen Shore photographs—Area 1, Noguchi Museum, Queens, New York, June 10, 2013 (2013), Area 9, Noguchi Museum, Queens, New York, June 25, 2013 [Ziggurat, c.1968] (2013); Area 2, Noguchi Museum, Queens, New York, July 23, 2013 [Thebes, 1982] (2013); and Area 2, Noguchi Museum, Queens, New York, November 8, 2013 [The Well (Variation on a Tsukubai)] (2013) were auctioned. A sculpture by Tom Sachs, Konichiwa (2014), edition 2 of 3, was also auctioned.
Tadao Ando’s minimalist approach, sensitivity to light, and incorporation of natural elements into his projects, in addition to his fusion of Eastern and Western architecture, are all principles that Isamu Noguchi embraced throughout his career. Highly regarded for his unparalleled work with concrete and his creative use of natural light, Ando is known for structures that follow natural forms of the landscape. Like Noguchi’s sculpture, which gave equal importance to the object and the space it inhabited, Ando’s work harmoniously integrates edifice and environment, while interior and exterior are intimately connected through his incorporation of water, light, wind, sky, and landscape into his building designs. Ando learned his first lessons by studying traditional Japanese architecture before learning about modern Western architecture, including the buildings of Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Kahn. The inspiration he drew from these experiences is evident throughout his work which, much like the museum that Noguchi designed, often provide sanctuary from the clamor of daily life.
Elyn Zimmerman also shares with Isamu Noguchi a sensitivity to atmosphere and the incorporation of natural elements into the design of her projects—from public plazas to sculpture gardens on a grand scale. Zimmerman started her career as a painter and photographer, captivated by the ephemeral notion of light and space. A trip to India inspired her to create outdoor works, and her first significant public installation was for the National Geographic Society, in 1980. Like Noguchi, Zimmerman is best known for her use of stone, often in association with water and landscape elements. Her deep appreciation for the emotional resonance of stone and the ways it interacts with the environment has translated into her public and private commissions, which often feature monoliths or channels of rough and polished stone. Like Noguchi, she is a global citizen, and undertakes collaborations around the world.