Catalogue


Isamu Noguchi's modernism : negotiating race, labor, and nation, 1930-1950 /
Amy Lyford.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2013], c2013
description
viii, 273 p., 8 unnumbered p.s of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
ISBN
0520253140 (hardback), 9780520253148 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, [2013], c2013
isbn
0520253140 (hardback)
9780520253148 (hardback)
contents note
Labor. Earthworks, the Depression Economy, and Monument to the Plow -- Modernism, Public Art, and Sculpture as Social Practice in the 1930s -- Reinventing Labor in New York -- Race. Negotiating Japanese American Confinement -- Reimagining Humanity in the 1940s -- 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."
general note
"Published with the assistance of the Getty Foundation."
abstract
"In a study that combines archival research, a firm grounding in the historical context, biographical analysis, and sustained attention to specific works of art, Amy Lyford provides an account of Isamu Noguchi's work between 1930 and 1950 and situates him among other artists who found it necessary to negotiate the issues of race and national identity. In particular, Lyford explores Noguchi's sense of his art as a form of social activism and a means of struggling against stereotypes of race, ethnicity, and national identity. Ultimately, the aesthetics and rhetoric of American modernism in this period both energized Noguchi's artistic production and constrained his public reputation"--
catalogue key
8947545
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-257) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"[ Negotiating Race and Nation ] breaks new ground in our understanding of Noguchi's constructed identity and career. [Lyford's] account is lively, vivid, and engaging. [Her] scholarship and analysis are impressive in their breadth and depth. Presenting new material as well as contributing to our understanding of familiar material, it addresses a broad audience of scholars and students in the fields of modern art history, Asian-American studies, race and ethnicity, Orientalism, and identity construction." --Joseph Henning, author of Outposts of Civilization: Race, Religion and the Formative Years of American-Japanese Relations "While there is general consensus that Noguchi is a pivotal figure in twentieth century America, when it comes to an analysis of his artistic significance, his biography has often played an overriding role in explaining the meaning of his art and his importance as a sculptor. Lyford accurately assesses this conundrum and locates this problem in matters of "race and nation." Her work is well-conceived and organized, and written with precision and elegance. It illuminates aspects of twentieth century American artistic modernism in a nuanced and convincing fashion." --Karin Higa, Japanese American National Museum
Summaries
Main Description
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 Noguchis 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 Noguchis 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 Noguchis 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.
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Labor
Earthworks, the Depression Economy, and Monument to the Plowp. 13
Modernism, Public Art, and Sculpture as Social Practice in the 1930sp. 43
Reinventing Labor in New Yorkp. 66
Race
Negotiating Japanese American Confinementp. 107
Reimagining Humanity in the 1940sp. 130
Noguchi, Asian America, and Artistic Identity in Postwar New Yorkp. 160
Postscript: Beginnings and Ends at the Venice Biennalep. 202
Noguchi's "A Plan for Government Sponsored Farm and Craft Settlement for People of Japanese Parentage"p. 207
Noguchi's "I Become a Nisei"p. 215
Notesp. 221
Selected Bibliographyp. 251
List of Illustrationsp. 259
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem