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Object


Object Information:

Artist: Isamu Noguchi, American, 1904-1988

The Mirror

1958

Painted aluminum

height, 63 1/2in (161.3cm)

Gift of the Estate of Tom Slick

1973.35


Location:

Not on view

Further Information:

The Mirror is one of 33 sculptures Isamu Noguchi made out of industrial aluminum. Beginning with a paper model for each work, the artist then traced the model's flattened shape onto a single sheet of aluminum to create the finished sculpture. In the method of construction and appearance, these sculptures recall origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. 19 of these 33 works, including The Mirror, were shown in a 1961 exhibition titled Weightlessness, held at the Cordier and Warren Gallery in New York. As the exhibition's title suggests, Noguchi was attempting to convey a sense of weightlessness.

In The Mirror, a thin folded piece of aluminum supports a larger, flat shape that is quadrilateral with rounded corners and sits precariously balanced atop a thin support. The sculpture resembles a hand mirror although the typically reflective aluminum has been painted black. An opening in the upper element creates a window that also resembles an eye. Three nodules irregularly placed along the perimeter of the upper element contribute to a sense of anthropomorphism.

The sense of anthropomorphism, allusion to architecture, and use of industrial materials correpsond to sculpture and drawings Noguchi created in the 1930s and 40s. However, in 1961, The Mirror and other works in the Weightlessness exhibition were considered by critics as too commercial.


Copyright:

© The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artist/Maker Bio

Noguchi, Isamu