Masayo, Peter Duus to discuss Isamu Noguchi Feb. 19 (Los Angeles)

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Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California, 90012
United States

As part of the installation of the international traveling exhibition, Isamu Noguchi – Sculptural Design, the Japanese American National Museum will host the public program, "An Enduring Odyssey: Masayo Duus and Peter Duus Talk About the Life and Times of Isamu Noguchi" on Sunday, Feb. 19, beginning at 2 p.m.

Author Masayo Duus has written what critics have described as the definitive biography of artist Isamu Noguchi, originally published in 2004, the 100th anniversary of his birth. Her husband, Peter Duus, a historian, did the English translation for The Life of Isamu Noguchi: Journey without Borders, which examines Noguchi’s life in great detail. Born as Sam Gilmour to a Japanese father, Yonejiro Noguchi, and an American mother, Leonie Gilmour, Noguchi spent his life expressing his bicultural heritage in his work, often fusing together elements and aesthetics from East and West.

The first full-length biography of the artist, the book draws on Noguchi's letters, his reminiscences, and interviews with his friends and colleagues to cast new light on his youth, his creativity, and his relationships. Noguchi was born in Boyle Heights and his mother moved them to Japan when he was three in an attempt to be close to his father. That relationship never developed and young Sam eventually was sent to school in Indiana, where, after some struggles, he lived a life similar to many young American boys in the 1910s and 1920s. His exceptional artistic talents took him to New York City and eventually Paris, where he befriended Alexander Calder and became an assistant to Constantin Brancusi.

Duus also reveals much about Noguchi’s personal life, including his many romances with such public figures as dancer Ruth Page, painter Frida Kahlo and writer Anais Nin. Yet his own sense of being an outsider never ended. "With my double nationality and my double upbringing, where was my home?" he once wrote. "Where were my affections? Where my identity?" This search even led to his voluntarily entering the Poston, Arizona, World War II concentration camp to be with other Japanese Americans in hopes of improving their lives. His proposed projects for a park and a recreation center were never realized and he left camp after several months.

As the exhibition makes clear, Noguchi, in his six decades of work, explored various fields of both applied and the fine arts. Besides creating over 2,500 sculptures, he designed stage sets for choreographer Martha Graham, invented furniture for Herman Miller and developed his own style of landscape architecture all over the world. He often traveled to Japan, seeking to explore his father's world and collaborated with many Japanese artists.

The exhibition was organized by the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany, in cooperation with the Isamu Noguchi Foundation Inc., New York. The exhibition design and visual concept by Robert Wilson were developed at the Watermill Center on Long Island, New York.

Masayo Duus has written several books on the history of Japanese Americans and U.S.-Japan relations and has published collections of her essays on life in America. Translations of her work include The Japanese Conspiracy: The Oahu Sugar Strike of 1920 and Unlikely Liberators: The Men of the 100th and the 442nd. Peter Duus is William H. Bonsall Professor of History at Stanford University. His most recent book is Japanese Discovery of America.

All Isamu Noguchi - Sculptural Design public programs are free with admission to the exhibition. Seating is first-come, first-served. Reservations are recommended. All programs are free for National Museum members, unless otherwise noted. For non-members, public programs are included with admission to the Noguchi exhibition ($12 adults, $9 seniors 62 & over, $8 students). Children five and under are free. For more information call (213) 625-0414.

For more information, visit the exhibition website.

Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012




ckomai . 更新日 2010年7月9日




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