Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan

Yokohama Museum Of Art

poster for Changing and Unchanging Things: Noguchi and Hasegawa in Postwar Japan

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Sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) sought to reintegrate art into people’s daily lives. Meanwhile, Saburo Hasegawa (1906-1957) was a leading figure in Japanese prewar abstraction as a painter, and as a theorist he studied Western modern art movements and the traditional arts of Japan, finding aspects common to both in abstract art. In May 1950, Noguchi had a fateful encounter with Hasegawa, who knew of Noguchi’s work and was eager to correspond with him. They found astounding similarities and a powerful resonance between their shared interests and respective visions.

After this they became close friends, and Hasegawa served as a guide to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Japan. His passion for subjects including Japanese architecture, landscaping, calligraphy, painting, archaeology, tea ceremony, Zen, and haiku played a crucial role in forming Noguchi’s understanding of the essence of Japanese aesthetics. At the same time, dialogues with Noguchi encouraged Hasegawa to extend the frontiers of his abstract art by working in traditional Asian media such as sumi ink, rubbings, and woodblocks.

This exhibition focuses on the friendship between these two artists, exploring what they saw, thought about, and aspired to do through approximately 50 works by Noguchi and 70 by Hasegawa, particularly from the years of their association in the 1950s.

*Some of the displayed works will be alternated during the exhibition for conservation purposes.

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Schedule

from January 12, 2019 to March 24, 2019
Open until 20:30 on March 2 (Saturday). Closed on Thursdays and March 22. Open on March 21 (Thursday/public holiday).

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