Hot stones: the Noguchi Museum stages its first group exhibition alongside Isamu Noguchi's work

Museum of Stones
For the first time in its history, the Noguchi Museum has integrated work from a roster of contemporary artists in its latest exhibition, 'Museum of Stones'
(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

This year has turned out to be a prolific one for Isamu Noguchi, the American sculptor and designer who died nearly 30 years ago. A long-awaited collaboration with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden sets 15 of his sculptures around the garden’s landscape, and a recent biography, Listening to Stone, by Hayden Herrera, documents his life and work in a gripping narrative.

But, as it was during his life, the real pièce de résistance comes at his studio in Queens, now known as the Noguchi Museum.  Following an extensive renovation project and on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the museum recently opened ‘Museum of Stones,’ an exhibition that explores the cultural implications of stone, the medium with which Noguchi is so closely associated.

For the first time in its history, the museum took the exhibition as an opportunity to integrate work from a roster of contemporary artists, including Scott Burton, Gabriel Orozco, Janine Antoni, Lawrence Weiner, Yoko Ono, and Tom Sachs. Curated in this way, the exhibition contextualizes Noguchi’s work among other projects that work through the same material - even as it underscores the singularity of his work. By incorporating projects from the more recent past, curator Dakin Hart demonstrates the enduring questions about one of art’s most fundamental media.

The show also reaches back in time - far back.  Hart places a foundation stone from Jerusalem’s fortification wall that dates from 41-70 C.E., for example, among works by Joseph Kosuth and Mariana Cook. Objects from the Qing dynasty, many on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, get interspersed throughout the exhibition, adding yet another dimension to the reception of Noguchi’s work.

On view through January 10, 2016, the exhibition is something to be seen multiple times, letting the work to be experienced in different qualities of light and weather. 

Museum of Stones

Presented throughout its iconic Queens space, the show includes stone works from artists such as Scott Burton, Gabriel Orozco, Janine Antoni, Lawrence Weiner, Yoko Ono, and Tom Sachs

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

Museum of Stones

The exhibition refreshingly showcases Noguchi’s work alongside contemporary projects that focus on the same material, such as Toshiko Takaezu's Dry Riverbed, from 1980 

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

historical piece, a foundation stone

Some of the works reach far back in time. One particuarly historical piece, a foundation stone from Jerusalem’s fortification wall, dates from 41-70 C.E.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

Museum of Stones

Pictured: Rupert Norfolk's Wall no. 2, 2006, made from limestone rocks

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

A private collection of postcards showing stone sculptures and formations from around the world

A private collection of postcards showing stone sculptures and formations from around the world

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Objects from the Qing dynasty, many on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, are also interspersed throughout the exhibition

(Image credit: Elizabeth Felicella)

INFORMATION

’Museum of Stones’ will run until 10 January 2016

ADDRESS

Noguchi Museum (opens in new tab)
9-01 33rd Road
Queens, New York

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