In May 1950 Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) returned to Japan for his first visit in 20 years. He was, Noguchi said, seeking models for evolving the relationship between sculpture and society—having emerged from the war years with a profound desire to reorient his work “toward some purposeful social end.” The artist Saburo Hasegawa (1906–57) was a key figure for Noguchi during this period, making introductions to Japanese artists, philosophies, and material culture. Hasegawa, who had mingled with the European avant-garde during time spent as a painter in Paris in the 1930s, was, like Noguchi, seeking an artistic hybridity. By the time Hasegawa and Noguchi met, both had been thinking deeply about the balance between tradition and modernity, and indigenous and foreign influences, in the development of traditional cultures for some time. The predicate of their intense friendship was a thorough exploration of traditional Japanese culture within the context of seeking what Noguchi termed “an innocent synthesis” that “must rise from the embers of the past.”
Changing and Unchanging Things is an account of how their joint exploration of traditional Japanese culture influenced their contemporary and subsequent work. The 40 masterpieces in the exhibition—by turns elegiac, assured, ambivalent, anguished, euphoric, and resigned—are organized into the major overlapping subjects of their attention: the landscapes of Japan, the abstracted human figure, the fragmentation of matter in the atomic age, and Japan’s traditional art forms.
Published in association with The Noguchi Museum.
Exhibition dates: Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan: January 12–March 21, 2019 The Noguchi Museum, New York: May 1–July 14, 2019 Asian Art Museum, San Francisco: September 27–December 8, 2019
About the Author
Dakin Hart is Senior Curator of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.
Mark Dean Johnson is Professor of Art at San Francisco State University.
"Will undoubtedly be an important reference for future studies on Hasegawa, Noguchi, and postwar art by Japanologists and non-Japanologists alike." — Journal of Japanese Studies
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New Hope for American Art
New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools.
In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:
William Langson Lathrop
William F. Taylor
M. Elizabeth Price
S. George Phillips
Rae Sloan Bredin
Charles F. Ramsey
New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.