Bonnie Rychlak, curator of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, will trace the career of Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) through his approach to the human figure on Sunday, August 3, at 3 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Admission to the lecture is free.
In her lecture “Noguchi and the Figure,” Rychlak explores Noguchi’s enduring use of the figure throughout his career to interpret and link his wide-ranging materials, techniques, styles, and concepts. Her examination will detail Noguchi’s use of extended metaphors to express the experiences of the human body and the physical relationship to the earth.
Although his later works in stone are increasingly viewed through his awareness of a Japanese aesthetic and his embracing of Zen principles, Rychlak provides a necessary understanding of Noguchi as an American artist who absorbed the traditions of Western modernism and spent the entirety of his career continually redefining his relationship to figuration.
Rychlak’s discussion will encompass Noguchi’s formative training in the representational tradition, the following decades of experimentation with form and material within the climate of abstraction and biomorphism, and the increasing influence of his work with public projects and spaces for social interaction on his sculpture.
Two figural sculptures by Noguchi, Kyoko-san and Personage I (Ningen I), both from 1984, on loan from the Noguchi Foundation, are on view outside the entrance of the new Stone Hill Center, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, at the Clark.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays, September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.