Isamu Noguchi and the Creation of a "Universal" Landscape
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The creation of landscapes allowed Isamu Noguchi to look beyond sculpture to an environment where stone, architecture, and landscaping met. This enabled him to think about what he wanted to accomplish as an artist, and by the end of his career landscapes became the aesthetic means to reconcile his "divided self." He was an artist who had obtained commercial and artistic success at an early age, yet he had to deal with the deeply imbedded psychological challenge of his longing to belong. This apparent discrepancy in his life led Noguchi to create landscapes where he could psychologically belong by making them "universal." In this paper I explore Noguchi's struggle in defining his cultural identity, and I examine six gardens created by Noguchi, each coming closer to his wish for a "universal" landscape; an enclosed utopia separated from the chaos of the urban world and cultural definitions.