Qi Baishi is one of the most influential Chinese ink painters of the 20th century. Isamu Noguchi, who lived in Japan and the United States, was one of the most critically acclaimed sculptors of the same time period. In 1930, Noguchi met Baishi in Beijing, and they spent about six months developing a new vision of abstraction. Baishi fueled Noguchi’s interest in brush and ink on paper, enabling him to develop a new approach to interpreting the human form. Noguchi also discovered that he could create almost life-sized works by painting on a table or floor as per East Asian tradition. Their creative-cultural exchange comes to life in an exhibit that launched yesterday and will remain at The Noguchi Museum until January 26th, 2014. More than 50 drawings, ink paintings, calligraphic works and sculptures by both artists are seen side-by-side for the first time.
As its name suggests, the Noguchi Museum displays sculpture, furniture, ceramics and other pieces by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. But this weekend, the Long Island City venue dabbles into everything from architecture to film to live music. On September 6th, Noguchi extends evening hours as it always does on the first Friday of each month and offers a pay-what-you-wish admission policy. At 6 pm, the museum facilitates a conversation around a single work of art, followed by a screening of 16 Acres, which explores the Ground Zero rebuilding effort. Presented with the Architecture and Design Film Festival, the movie tells the behind-the-scenes story through a series of first-person narratives, but without any narration. On September 8th, Noguchi hosts the summer’s final Music in the Garden event with Mantra Percussion (above) performing Michael Gordon’s Timber, a full-length concert composed for six percussionists playing on amplified two-by-fours using mallets and fingertips. The concert is offered in collaboration with Bang on a Can/Cantaloupe Music, one of the world’s best recognized ambassador’s of contemporary music.