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MAD DOGS &

ENGLISHMEN

 
 

Back to The Garden...!

   

 

  

 

Things to do in the city in these dog days of August: visit the lovely Noguchi Museum in Long 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 Noguchi ReINstalled has the entire permanent collection on view, including Noguchi's stone, metal, wood, and clay sculptures.

 

 

Outside, 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." 

 

 

Noguchi's 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.

 

Noguchi, as eCognoscente noted earlier, is famous for his lamps, and you may buy them here.  There is also the Socrates Sculpture Park across the street to visit with works by contemporary sculptors as well as East River views.  Gardens, and lamps to take home....

 

 

Visit: Noguchi Museum

 

Visit: Socrates Sculpture Park

 

Tags: new york buildings


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