- Isamu Noguchi
- Akari & Shop
On May 2, 2019, The Noguchi Museum honored designer Rei Kawakubo with the sixth annual Isamu Noguchi Award. The silent auction included two works by Isamu Noguchi: Kaki-Persimmons, AP from an edition of 12 with 2 APs, and Squirrel, number 5 from an edition of 12 with 3 APs, that were auctioned individually.
Hailed as one of the most brilliant and innovative designers of our time, Rei Kawakubo has consistently defied notions not only of beauty, but also of what fashion can be, at once confounding our expectations for clothing and—like Isamu Noguchi—challenging the idea that design and art are inherently different endeavors. Also like Noguchi, Kawakubo celebrates not only forms, but also the spaces between them.
Kawakubo is founder of COMME des GARÇONS and co-founder of Dover Street Market, and her design practice extends beyond clothing to the graphic design, advertising, and interiors for her businesses, which she considers to be inextricable components of her aesthetic vision. Her work has appeared in several exhibitions, including a critically acclaimed solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017, which was only the second monographic show awarded to a living designer by The Met. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of COMME des GARÇONS.
Kawakubo received the Fashion Group International Award in 1986 and the Excellence in Design Award from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2000. In 1993 she was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. She divides her time between Tokyo and Paris.
Each May The Noguchi Museum hosts its annual benefit and Isamu Noguchi Award presentation. The evening begins with cocktails and the award ceremony in the Museum’s celebrated sculpture garden, followed by a seated dinner and a silent auction in the galleries. Proceeds from the evening support the Museum, its collection, exhibitions, and programs.
Launched at The Noguchi Museum’s 2014 Spring Benefit, the Isamu Noguchi Award was established to honor the tenets that Noguchi expressed in his life’s work and to acknowledge other like-minded, highly accomplished individuals who reflect similar ideals in their own times. The Award thus celebrates innovation, global awareness, and Eastern and Western exchange.