American, Japanese





Modernist sculptor and designer was born in Los Angeles to Yone Noguchi, a Japanese poet and teacher, and Leonie Gilmore, an American novelist. His early years (1906-1918) were spent in Japan. He attended high school in Indiana. After high school he worked briefly for the American sculptor Gutzon Borglum and later studied in Paris (1927-1928) where he met Calder, Giacometti, and Brancusi, in whose studio he worked for six months. He traveled frequently and spent time in New York, London, Beijing, (post-war) Japan, and Mexico. He worked as a portraitist and decorator during the war years, and from 1935 began designing sets for the stage, most notably for Martha Graham. He worked primarily as a sculptor, but created designs for parks, monuments, playgrounds, fountains, and gardens. His designs for furniture and lighting (akari) remain in production.
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