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The Post critics split over Noguchi

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Another Noguchi Review

And now it is two differing from the one.

Read Michael O’Sullivan’s excellent take on Isamu Noguchi at the Hirshhorn, published yesterday in the WaPo.

O’Sullivan correctly points out Noguchi’s innovative track record and writes:

Solar’s inclusion is notable for two reasons. Yes, it’s a fine piece, characterized by the kind of dynamic stillness found in Noguchi’s best, most Zen-flavored work, but it also serves Fletcher’s thesis that Noguchi was probably more innovative than people generally give him credit for. Is there the influence of Constantin Brancusi (for whom Noguchi briefly worked as a studio assistant while in Paris) in some of Noguchi’s earliest pieces? Certainly, and the biomorphic iconography of the surrealists makes more than one appearance in Noguchi’s later art as well.

But art isn’t a horse race, or at least it shouldn’t be. What Noguchi did well he did very well. Whether works represent his fascination with the pure refinement of form, as in the gestural simplicity of 1970’s “The Bow,” or express the gut-punch racial politics of 1934’s “Death (Lynched Figure),” or whether they lie somewhere in between, as in the phallic squishes and fleshy plops of his work of the 1940s, Noguchi’s most powerful sculptures beg for extended viewing.

Yep! Art isn’t a horse race, and it doesn’t have to be “new” to be good.

Case slammed shut!

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About Lenny Campello

  • Shark

    And don’t forget: his lamps are THE GREATEST.