Isamu Noguchi - Los Angeles, 1904 - New York 1988
Isamu Noguchi , American sculptor, born in Los Angeles. The son of a Japanese poet father and an American mother, was a student of Gutzon Borglum and won Guggenheim fellowships in 1926 that permitted him to study in Paris under Brancusi . In his work with stone, wood, and metal he integrated European modernism with Japanese traditionalism, harmonizing rough and smooth, geometric and organic. He created many independent pieces of sculpture and is also well known for the abstract sculptural elements he designed as adjuncts to architecture, highly integrated environmental work such as the massive red cube made for the Marine Midland Bank building, New York City, and the entrance to the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo. Noguchi also created many playgrounds and stone sculpture gardens, e.g., in Mexico City and the Unesco Garden, Paris. He also designed numerous striking stage sets and props for the Martha Graham dance company and items for the home, many of which have become modernist classics, such as his glass-topped, wood-based coffee table and his airy paper lanterns.