Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi

Hayden Herrera. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $35 (512p) ISBN 978-0-37428-116-8
Herrera (Arshile Gorky) delves into the details of the life of influential and enigmatic American sculptor Isamu Noguchi in this thorough and solid biography. Noguchi was born in Los Angeles in 1904, to an American mother and a Japanese father, the poet Yone Noguchi, who abandoned them before Noguchi was born. Herrera reveals how Noguchi’s identity as half-Japanese and half-American shaped his identity as an artist. Describing Noguchi’s career from his itinerant youth in LA and Japan to his embattled redesign of Miami’s Bayfront Park, Herrera leaves no stone unturned. This critical biography relies extensively on Noguchi’s writings and letters, but Herrera’s expertise and insight illuminate Noguchi’s evolving creative process, as well as the full scope of his personal relationships. In short chapters, Herrera walks readers through every phase of Noguchi’s life, including his affair with Frida Kahlo, the design of his iconic table, his collaborations with choreographer Martha Graham, his time at a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona during WWII, and his creation of the Noguchi Museum in Queens, New York. Herrera adroitly shows that Noguchi was more than just a sculptor—he was a skilled craftsman, a heartbreaker, and a philosopher of design. This biography carves a smooth portrait of one of the most prolific and original artists of the 20th century. 132 illus. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014
Release date: 04/21/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 592 pages - 978-0-374-71296-9
Paperback - 592 pages - 978-0-374-53598-8
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