New York

Isamu Noguchi

Max Protetch

Isamu Noguchi’s customary concern with the slow burn of revelation turns, for now, into the strobe of edge flashing into plane. The new sculpture, all done in 1982–83, is best described as origami in steel, and one imagines the brooding gravity of Noguchi’s stones having eventually collapsed under their own heft and somehow come out the other side into a weightless, bright fourth dimension (which can only be defined as some confabulation between the second and third). Density has compacted into a cartoon; in fact, some of these pieces, particularly ones like Giacometti’s Shadow and Root and Stem, are oddly reminiscent of poor, attenuated Coyote, but a coyote finally caught up with Roadrunner when, this time, they get flattened together. In a sense, Noguchi tries to catch up with his alter ego here. If there’s a hidden metaphor at work it’s that the formal doubling process is likened

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