Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), Japan/USA.
Isamu Noguchi was one of the twentieth century's most important and critically acclaimed Japanese American artists, sculptors and landscape designers. Through a lifetime of artistic experimentation, he was prolific as a sculptor, designer, architect, and craftsman. "Everything is sculpture," said Isamu Noguchi. "Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture." Isamu Noguchi believed the sculptor's task was to shape space, to give it order and meaning, and that art should "disappear," or be as one with its surroundings. Perhaps it was his dual heritage--his father was a Japanese poet, his mother a Scottish-American writer--that resulted in his way of looking at the world with an eye for "oneness."
"To limit yourself to a particular style may make you an expert of that particular viewpoint or school, but I do not wish to belong to any school," he said. "I am always learning, always discovering."
Noguchi has a brilliant career that spanned more than six decades. For someone who was told by his first art teacher at age 15 that he'd "never be a sculptor," he left an amazing legacy. His work lives on around the world and at the The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York.