ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)
ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)
ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)
ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)
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ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)


ISAMU NOGUCHI (1904-1988)
Rare 'Cloud' Ottoman, Model No. IN-71, circa 1946
manufactured by Herman Miller, Zeeland, Michigan
birch, fabric upholstery
13 1/4 x 52 x 32 in. (33.7 x 132.1 x 81.3 cm)
Private Collection, Brewster
Mark McDonald, New York
Private Collection, Los Angeles
Wright, Chicago, 12 December 2013, lot 120
Private Collection
Acquired from the above by the present owner
N. Grove, D. Botnick, The Sculpture of Isamu Noguchi, 1924-1979: A Catalogue, New York, 1980, pl. 811
G. Nelson, Chairs, New York, 1994, pp. 33, 152-153
C. & P. Fiell, 1000 chairs, Italy, 1997, p. 289
A. von Vegesack, et. al., Isamu Noguchi: Sculptural Design, exh. cat., Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, 2001, pp. 122-123
A. Bony, Meubles et Décors des Années 40, Paris, 2002, p. 205 (for a period photograph)
B. Bloemnik, J. Cunningham, Design ? Art: Functional Objects from Donald Judd to Rachel Whiteread, exh. cat., Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York, 2004, pp. 162-163 ref. 147
G. Wood, Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design, exh cat., Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2007, p. 99

Brought to you by

Michael Jefferson
Michael Jefferson International Senior Specialist, Senior Vice President

Lot Essay

Important and rare “Cloud” ottoman by Isamu Noguchi. One of only a four known examples of this model created in the late 1940s in collaboration with the Herman Miller Company. The work is part of a series of furniture designs Isamu Noguchi embarked on in the late 1940s with both Herman Miller and Knoll, creating dynamic and sculptural furnishings that reimagined what furniture could be. To Noguchi, there was no separation in his practice between functional design and sculpture nor works made by hand versus those that were manufactured.
The original design was hand-made and directly carved by Noguchi for the photographer Milton Greene, for his Weston, Connecticut home circa 1946. This original organically shaped sofa and ottoman were discarded by the Greene’s after their divorce.
This series was described as “rocks in a stream” of which the user can perch upon them in numerous directions and positions within an interior. The works likely formed a sculptural display in the four Herman Miller showrooms across the United States in 1948, bolstering the innovative vision of the company.

Other known examples:
Milwaukee Art Museum, permanent collection (sofa and ottoman)
Offered Phillips, The Collector: Icons of Design, 16 December 2014, lot 21 (sofa and ottoman); Private Collection
Vitra Design Museum, permanent collection (sofa only)
New York Private Collection (sofa and ottoman)
Present ottoman, offered Wright, Chicago, 12 December 2013, lot 120

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