19 May 2021 – 8 May 2022
The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum
'Noguchi: Useless Architecture' examines how Noguchi used formal vocabularies of architecture to reimagine a social purpose for sculpture. Featuring around fifty works arranged in thematic installations – Ruins, Theater Space, Architectural Metaphors, Terraces and Panorama, Postmodern Akari, and Ends – the exhibition explores how Noguchi drew on architecture to supercharge his efforts to make sculpture civic, communal, and environmental.
The exhibition was directly inspired by two visits Noguchi took to India, the first in 1949 and again in 1960. He visited India’s Jantar Mantar in Delhi and Jaipur, two of the original five campuses of astronomical devices created on a grand architectural scale by the 18th-century Maharaja Jai Singh II. Noguchi described the conglomeration of instruments at each site as 'useless architecture, useful sculpture'.