to do in the city in these dog days of August: visit
Island City, a serene oasis that is only a short ride on the N
train away. The museum is housed in a renovated 1920s
warehouse, and there is a lovely garden where one can
sit amidst trees, water, stones, and sculpture and meditate on
things eternal. The current exhibit
has the entire permanent
collection on view, including Noguchi's stone, metal, wood, and
the beautiful garden. And on display inside is a marvelous construction, one
of two designed by Noguchi for Martha Graham's 1958 dance Embattled
Garden. Made of deep red and green painted wood, bamboo,
and canvas, Noguchi's creation became home to Adam and Eve, and
Graham's version of the Garden of Eden. Also present in
Graham's saucy interpretation -- set to lively brassy music by
Carlos Surinach -- Lilith, Adam's first wife and the slithering
serpentine Stranger. Noguchi described his set: "The
Garden of Eden is the time of puberty. The symbol of the
apple was made into a dance platform. Pierced with two large
ovals, but in color patterns like the skin of the apple.
From this rises a jungle of green rattan rods. These vibrate
with the dance which takes place between and around them. To the
side is the tree."
association with the doyenne of modern dance began early: the
sculptor's half-sister Ailes Gilmour was a dancer for the Martha
Graham Company and introduced Martha to her brother in 1929.
Noguchi also designed the sets for other Graham dances including
the seminal 1947 Errand into the Maze. Astonishing as
well, the relationship between sculpture and dance: sculpture is
transformed into a handmaid of the muse Terpsichore while dance
becomes sculpture in motion.
is famous for his lamps, and you may buy them here. There is
street to visit with works by contemporary sculptors as well as
East River views. Gardens, and lamps to take home....
new york buildings