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Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)
Property from a Private Collection, West Coast
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)

Mortality

Details
Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988)
Mortality
inscribed with signature, date and number 'Isamu Noguchi 3/6 61' (on the center element)
bronze
74¾ x 19 5/8 x 17¾ in. (190 x 50 x 45 cm.)
Conceived in 1959 and cast in 1963. This work is number three from an edition of six plus two artist's proofs.
Provenance
Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, New York
Gimpel Fils Gallery, London
Private collection
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 19 November 2004, lot 126
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Literature
L. Campbell, "Reviews & Previews: Isamu Noguchi," ARTnews, Summer 1961, p. 11 (wood version illustrated).
V. Raynor, "In the Galleries," Arts Magazine, September 1961, pp. 36-37.
D. Ashton, "Noguchi," Arts & Architecture, June 1963, pp. 6-7 and 30 (another example illustrated).
A. Michelson, "Noguchi: Notes on a Theater of the Real," Art International, December 1964, p. 24 (another example illustrated).
I. Noguchi, Isamu Noguchi: A Sculptor's World, New York, 1968.
D. Shirley, "Noguchi," Newsweek, 29 April 1968, p. 95.
"Sculpture by Isamu Noguchi," Japan Architect, August 1973, p. 16. (another example illustrated).
J. Love, "Noguchi's Vision Shakes up Young Japanese," ARTnews, September 1973, pp. 73-75 (another example illustrated).
S. Hunter, Isamu Noguchi, New York, 1978, p. 123 (wood version illustrated).
"Imaginary Landscapes," Museum News, March-April 1978, pp. 52-55 (another example illustrated).
D. Botnick and N. Grove, The Sculpture of Isamu Noguchi, 1924-1979: A Catalogue, New York, 1980, n.p. (wood version illustrated).
N. Grove, Isamu Noguchi: A Study of the Sculpture, New York, 1985, p. 231, fig. 107 (wood version illustrated).
I. Noguchi, The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, New York, 1987, n.p., no. 6 (another example illustrated).
B. Altshuler, Isamu Noguchi, Modern Masters Series, vol. 16, New York, 1994.
Light and Shadow: Sculptural Resonance in Space: The Works of Isamu Noguchi from New York and Mure, exh. cat.,Sapporo Terebi Hôsô, 1998, pp. 86-88, no. 93 (wood version illustrated).
I. Noguchi, Isamu Noguchi: A Sculptor's World, New York, 2004, n.p., pl. 93 (another example illustrated).
Isamu Noguchi: Connecting the World Through Sculpture, exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art, 2006, n.p., no. 61 (another example illustrated).
Exhibited
New York, Cordier & Warren Gallery, Noguchi: Weightlessness, May-June 1961 (another example exhibited).
New York, Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, Isamu Noguchi, April 1963, n.p., no. 4 (another example exhibited).
London, Tate Gallery, Painting & Sculpture of a Decade, April-June 1964, p. 111, no. 104.
Paris, Galerie Claude Bernard, Isamu Noguchi, June-July 1964, n.p., no. 5 (wood version exhibited and illustrated).
Arnhem, 5e Internationale beeldententoonstelling Sonsbeek '66, May-September 1966, p. 71, no. 176 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Isamu Noguchi, April-June 1968, p. 30, no. 27 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
London, Gimpel Fils, Isamu Noguchi, July-August 1968, no. 19.
Zurich, Gimpel & Hanover Galerie, Isamu Noguchi, October-November 1968, no. 6.
University of Nebraska, Art Galleries, American Sculpture, September-November 1970, n.p., no. 120 (another example exhibited).
Tokyo, Minami Gallery, Isamu Noguchi, May-June 1973, no. 14 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Tokyo, Minami Gallery, Minami '75: A selection of 20th Century Art, 1975, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Santa Barbara, University of California, 7+5: Sculptors in the 1950s, January-February 1976, p. 90, no. 52 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Noguchi's Imaginary Landscapes, April-June 1978 (another example exhibited).
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Three Sculptors: Noguchi, Oldenburg, Segal, July-September 1980, p. 17 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
New York, Arnold Herstand Gallery, Isamu Noguchi: Bronze Sculpture, 1959 - 1962, October-December 1985, p. 13 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945-1986, December 1986-January 1988, p. 132 (another example exhibited and illustrated in color).
New York, Pace Gallery, Isamu Noguchi: Bronze and Iron Sculpture, May-June 1988, no. 12 (another example exhibited and illustrated in color).
Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Isamu Noguchi Retrospective, March-May 1992, p. 128 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Kagawa, Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Dear Heartfelt Friend, Isamu Noguchi, November 1992-March 1993 (another example exhibited).
Museo de Arte Contemporneo de Monterrey, Noguchi and the Figure, February-May 1999, pp. 72 and 107, figs. 48 and 25 (another example exhibited and illustrated).
Tokyo, Sogetsu Art Museum, Isamu Noguchi, November-December 2002 (another example exhibited).
Sapporo, Moerenuma Park, Glass Pyramid Atrium, Isamu Noguchi Exhibition in the Glass Pyramid, July-August 2003 (another example exhibited).
Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Isamu Noguchi at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, July 2008-May 2009 (another example exhibited).

Brought to you by

Sandra Sublett
Sandra Sublett

Lot Essay


"Mortality is a solemn construction of a standing shaft and five swinging vertical elements, carrying with it a host of associations. The delicately balanced pending forms, suggest the ticking of the cosmic clock (shades of Bucky Fuller) and, also, sounds. The measures of music--the silence and rhythmic occurrences of abstract sound--are inherent in this conception. The jointed forms that swing free invoke at least the expectation (time) of a gong sound or the muted music of Eastern temples. The heavy lintel clamped to the summit bears down on the fragile members below and indicates Noguchi's profound assessment of the principles of Japanese structuring"

-Dore Ashton (D. Ashton Noguchi East And West, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1992, p. 152).

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