An important contribution to the study of Isamu Noguchi
“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.”—Isamu Noguchi
In the last decade of his life, internationally renowned artist Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) converted his industrial studio warehouse in New York into an open-air sculpture garden and gallery—thus creating The Noguchi Museum, an intimate, reflective space in which to experience Noguchi’s sculpture and design, fulfilling a vision that the artist deemed essential to his life’s work. Museum of Stones celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of The Noguchi Museum with the first installation of contemporary artists’ work alongside Noguchi’s. Its focus on stone, a subject and medium that very much occupied Noguchi, is fitting. Featuring over one hundred works by nearly forty artists, as well as examples of Paleolithic handaxes and Chinese scholars’ rocks, Museum of Stones introduces new dialogues
between Noguchi’s treatment and presentation of stones with those of ancient and contemporary artists.
This thought-provoking book looks at the various ways artists from across the world have explored the place of rock and stone in human culture, taking inspiration from American-born artist Jimmie Durham’s opinion that sculpture and
architecture in the West “denature” stone. Photography of the artworks installed in The Noguchi Museum beautifully represents the unique and thoughtful meeting of Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture with that of contemporary artists and ancient examples from East and West.
Jenny Dixon is the former director of The Noguchi Museum.
Dakin Hart is senior curator of The Noguchi Museum. He is the author of Noguchi: Archaic/Modern (2016) and Mark Grotjahn: Masks (2015, with Glenn O’Brien).
Matt Kirsch is curator of Research and Digital Projects at The Noguchi Museum, where he has curated many in-house and travelling exhibitions, including Noguchi as Photographer: The Jantar Mantars of Northern India (2015).
Joseph Scheier-Dolberg is Assistant Curator of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has published on the history of the Qing dynasty imperial painting collection, Chinese albums, and contemporary Chinese art, and he has lectured in both scholarly and popular contexts on the history and materiality of Chinese painting.
Table of contents
- Foreword and Acknowledgments by Jenny Dixon
- Museum of Stones: An Introduction by Dakin Hart
- The Search for Stones by Matt Kirsch
- The Story of the Stones: A Record of Obsession in Four Vignettes by Joseph Scheier-Dolberg
- Installation Photographs
- Exhibition Checklist
- Photo Credits