Isamu Noguchi's Modernism: Negotiating Race, Labor, and Nation, 1930-1950
by Amy Lyford
Examines Noguchi’s early career, between 1930 and 1950, using new archival material, little-known or unrealized works, and those that are familiar.
Focusing on Noguchi’s reputation and reception as an artist of Japanese American descent, Amy Lyford analyzes the artist and his work within the context of a burgeoning desire at that time to define what modern American art might be—and confront unspoken assumptions that linked whiteness to Americanness. Lyford reveals how that reputation was both shaped by and helped define ideas about race, labor and national identity in twentieth-century American culture.