Isamu Noguchi

Biographical Information

Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), a Nisei born in Boyle Heights of a Japanese father, Yonejiro Noguchi, and a Caucasian mother, Leonie Gilmour, lived here until age 2 when he and his mother joined his father in Japan. In 1918, he returned to the United States to attend school. After receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927, he studied with Constantin Brancusi in Paris and later with his life long friend Buckminster Fuller. In 1935, Noguchi began a 20 year association with Martha Graham designing her stage sets. Though his sculpture is in the collections of the world's prominent public museums, Noguchi became increasingly associated with the design of gardens and public spaces at the end of his multi-faceted career. Among his best known projects is the garden at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and the Billy Rose sculpture garden in Jerusalem. Executed concurrently with the plaza and To the Issei at the JACCC, California Scenario, a metaphor on southern California located at Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza, is Noguchi's only other major public commission in southern California.

The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, October 1997.

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