Cutting Edge


January 22–October 25, 2020

Installation view of "Sesshu"

Isamu Noguchi’s Sesshu (1958) exemplifies the Japanese American artist’s commitment to synthesizing disparate cultures through his work. Noguchi attributed his long-standing interest in making three-dimensional sculpture from two-dimensional materials to his childhood training in origami and kirigami—the Japanese arts of cutting and folding paper. Off view since 1968, the recently conserved Sesshu was created from a single sheet of Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) manufactured aluminum, which was not considered a fine art material in the 1950s. The artist used industrial equipment to cut and bend the flat sheet into a screenlike form.

Image: Isamu Noguchi, Sesshu, 1958. Aluminum. Gift of an Anonymous donor. © 2019 The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.