Isamu Noguchi’s Influence on Modern Furniture
Furniture influence by Isamu Noguchi is still seen in today’s products. Born in Los Angeles in 1904, Noguchi spent the majority of his life in America and Japan. An early life experience which later lead to sculpture and furniture design began in Chigasaki, Japan in 1913 where he began an apprenticeship as a carpenter’s aid. At the early age of almost nine he began working with his hands to create things.In the summer of 1922 Isamu began an apprenticeship with sculptor Gutzon Borglum in Connecticut. In 1924 he took evening classes in sculpture at the Leonardo Da Vanci Art School. His talent was recognized early and in 1927 he won the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship which allowed him to travel to Paris and Europe and further refine his skills.
Two iconic styles that characterize Isamu are the occasional table and coffee tables. The modern look coffee table was designed in 1944. His design was a far departure from traditional wooden pieces with symetrical legs and a classic look. The unique flowing legs show the influence of his sculpture on the design of this piece. The Noguchi Museum Store is a good reference for more about this piece.Deemed Cyclone Tables, these occasional pieces were designed in 1954. Characterized by the wiry spokes between the table top and bottom, cylcone tables were a new fad not yet seen by the furniture market at that time. Noguchi pieces can be hard to find as there are copyrights still in place today.