Isamu Noguchi's Modernism: Negotiating Race, Labor, and Nation, 1930-1950
By: Amy Lyford (author)Hardback
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Exploring the complex interweaving of race, national identity, and the practice of sculpture, Amy Lyford takes us through a close examination of the early US career of the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). The years between 1930 and 1950 were perhaps some of the most fertile of Noguchi's career. Yet the work that he produced during this time has received little sustained attention. Weaving together new archival material, little-known or unrealized works, and those that are familiar, Lyford offers a fresh perspective on the significance of Noguchi's modernist sculpture to twentieth-century culture and art history. Through an examination of his work, this book tells a story about his relation to the most important cultural and political issues of his time. By focusing on Noguchi's reputation, and reception as an artist of Japanese American descent, Lyford analyzes the artist and his work within the context of a burgeoning desire at that time to define what modern American art might be - and confront unspoken assumptions that linked whiteness to Americanness.
Lyford reveals how that reputation was both shaped by and helped define ideas about race, labor and national identity in twentieth-century American culture.
Amy Lyford is Professor of Art History at Occidental College and is the author of Surrealist Masculinities: Gender Anxiety and the Aesthetics of Post--World War I Reconstruction in France (UC Press, 2007).
Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1. Labor 1. Earthworks, the Depression Economy, and Monument to the Plow 2. Modernism, Public Art, and Sculpture as Social Practice in the 1930s 3. Reinventing Labor in New York Part 2. Race 4. Negotiating Japanese American Confinement 5. Reimagining Humanity in the 1940s 6. Noguchi, Asian America, and Artistic Identity in Postwar New York Postscript: Beginnings and Ends at the Venice Biennale Appendix A. Noguchi's "A Plan for Government Sponsored Farm and Craft Settlement for People of Japanese Parentage" Appendix B. Noguchi's "I Become a Nisei" Notes Selected Bibliography List of Illustrations Index
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- ID: 9780520253148
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