March 9, 2020

Isamu Noguchi’s Iconic Work On View at New York Exhibition

The facility that opened in 1948 as New York International Airport has undergone myriad changes, particularly in the 21st century. It was just last year, for instance, that its TWA Flight Center, designed by Eero Saarinen in the early ’60’s, was transformed by Lubrano Ciavarra Architects, INC Architecture & Design, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners, and Stonehill Taylor into the TWA Hotel—and won an Interior Design Best of Year Award, to boot.

Isamu Noguchi’s model, circa 1956in plaster and faux granite for Idlewild Airport is on view at The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York, through August 23. Photography courtesy of The Noguchi Museum archives and INFGM/ARS.

But it was 1956 when Isamu Noguchi was invited by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill to submit a concept for a monumental sculpture for the new International Arrivals Building the firm was conceiving for what was then called Idlewild Airport. Noguchi proposed a 25-foot-tall granite column, but it was ultimately not selected (the commission went to Alexander Calder, whose .125 mobile now hangs in Terminal 4). A model of it, however, along with archival photographs and his Bird B sculpture are in “Composition for Idlewild Airport” at The Noguchi Museum in New York. Along­side that exhibition is “The Sculptor and the Ashtray,” which examines Noguchi’s efforts to design a perfect mass-produced version of the receptacle.

Up next: KO/OK Architektur Scores with Kegelbahn Wülknitz Sports Venue in East Germany

> See more from the March 2020 issue of Interior Design

Recent DesignWire