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“Museum of Stones”

Vintage postcards on view in “Museum of Stones,” 2015, Noguchi Museum, New York. Photo: Elizabeth Felicella.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE not to imagine a conversation between Isamu Noguchi and Jimmie Durham in “Museum of Stones.” The two artists, while separated by three and a half decades, share a near-mystical affinity for ascetic, stripped-down materials—specifically, rocks. The show, which is accompanied by off-site programming at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and a book featuring portraits of visitors and works within the museum by Tina Barney and Stephen Shore, marks the thirtieth anniversary of Noguchi’s namesake museum. It also fruitfully—and finally—moves beyond the occasional loan to bring a selection of contemporary art to the esteemed institution. Reflecting on Noguchi’s investment in the transhistorical and transcultural—remember, he simultaneously hybridized stone culture from Japan, Mexico, China, and Italy—the exhibition considers a broad swath of diachronic

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