Isamu Noguchi's utopian landscapes: the sculpture of playgrounds and gardens
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This paper tells the story of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and highlights his lesser-known landscape works. Noguchi was an artist of profound integrity and insight. His landscapes include playgrounds, monuments, and Japanese-inspired gardens. He chose landscapes as a medium for their inherent social value and as an artistic contribution to society. He was interested in the use and function of sculpture and wanted sculpture to encompass a larger vision and communicate on a grander scale. Moving beyond the limiting tradition of sculpture for the sole purpose of aesthetic, his was a sculpture for the common man. Noguchi was inspired by his childhood in Japan, by the high modernist movement, and by his involvement in the New York School of abstract artists that became prominent in the 1930s. Examination of Noguchi's work allows artists and the larger community to question the nature and definition of art and design. Noguchi pointed us to a new way to understand art. His work breaks free of a stagnant aesthetic, bringing a fresh viewpoint to the ancient and profound.