Published at Wednesday, August 07th 2019, 20:15:20 PM. Wood. By Brigitta Connolly.
#1 DESCRIPTIONFollowing his novitiate with the famed Constantin Brancusi, sculptor artist Isamu Noguchi started to experiment in environmental design, theatrical sets and, eventually, product design. He made his prime furniture originals for Herman Miller in 1942, later going on to work with other companies such as Steuben and Zenith.
His Rudder Table (1949) features an asymmetrical form composed of blended materials: warm wood and sleek chromed steel. The shape of its top‐the same as that of the renowned Noguchi® Table‐and the combination of metal and wood legs are true to Noguchi's original design.
At a quick glance, the fine metal hairpin legs almost vanish, proposing the top rests solely on the rudder‐shaped wood leg, communicating airiness to the whole. This is the authentic Noguchi Rudder Table produced by Herman Miller. Ships flat; easy assembly needed. Created in U.S.A.
The balance of sculptural configuration and durable usable has created the Noguchi Table an underrated and attractive element in homes and offices since it's introduction. Sharing a nearly identical shape and size as the indigenous glass Noguchi Coffee Table, this 'sculptural', 'visually light', or 'deceptively ' simple coffee table''; stands on '2 chrome' hairpin‐legs and one in wood reminiscent of a ship's rudder. Obtainable in White Ash, Walnut or Ebony table top finishes.
#2 DESIGN STORYThe Noguchi Rudder Table is both surface and sculpture. It' s lopsided yet equitable constitution marries nature with industry, beauty with usable.
The shape of its veneered top and the merger of metal and wood legs are true to Noguchi's original design. Two fine metal hairpin legs propose the top rests on the rudder‐shaped leg, lending a visual lightness and grace to the whole.
#3 ORGANIC FORMMuch like the designer's glass‐topped table, the Rudder Coffee Table typifies Noguchi's skilful utilize hof delusive easy organic configurations to create highly usable and attractive furniture.
Planned in 1944 and originated for deal in 1949, the Rudder series initially involved coffee and dining‐height tables, and also stools. To differentiate this 'genuine reproduction', we have engraved 'Noguchi's signature' on a medallion attached to the underside of the top.
#4 CREATORNoguchi trusted the sculptor's task was to shape space, to offer it order and meaning, and that art must "disappear", or be as one with its surroundings. Maybe it was his dual birthright‐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".
Reluctant and powerless to be pigeonholed, Noguchi made sculptures that can be as abstract as Henri Moore's or as realistic as Leonardo's. He utilized any medium he can obtain his hands on: wood, stone, bone, clay, metal, clay, bone, paper or a mixture of any or all‐ carving, casting, cutting, pounding, chiselling or dynamiting away as each form took shape.
"To limit yourself to a particular style might create you an expert of that particular viewpoint or school, but I don't wish to belong to any school," he said. "I am always learning, always discovering."
His extraordinary range of projects included playgrounds and plazas, furniture and gardens, the stone‐carved busts, and Akari paper lights, so delicate they can be folded and put into an envelope. He also designed numerous stage sets for dancer‐choreographer Martha Graham, who was as much an influence on him as was his mentor, Constantin Brancusi.
Noguchi was intelligent, articulate and sensitive. During World War II, at a dark time in US history, he voluntarily entered a relocation camp for Japanese‐Americans in Arizona‐and then was unable to get permission to leave. After seven months, he was granted liberation.
"I was finally free," he said gratefully. "I resolved henceforth to be an artist only." His relationship with Herman Miller came about when a design of his was used to illustrate an article written by George Nelson called "How to create a Table". It became his famous "coffee table", originally introduced in 1947 and reissued in 1984.
Other notable commissions include the gardens for the UNESCO Building in Paris, five fountains for the Supreme Court Building in Tokyo and a high‐relief mural for the Abelardo Rodriguez Market in Mexico City. Noguchi died in 1988 after 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.