30 Sep 2021-23 Jan 2022


An exhibition celebrating Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), one of the most experimental and pioneering artists of the 20th century.

Noguchi explores the kaleidoscopic career of a true artistic polymath. This exhibition, which is his first touring retrospective in Europe for 20 years, focuses on Noguchi as a global citizen and his risk-taking approach to sculpture as a living environment. 

‘Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.'

Over 150 works are presented, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – made in stone, ceramics, wood and aluminium – as well as theatre set designs, playground models, furniture and lighting.

Embracing social, environmental and spiritual consciousness, Noguchi believed sculpture could 'be a vital force in our everday life' and saw art 'as something which teaches human beings how to become more human.'

For the occasion of this retrospective Barbican commissioned Noguchi TV - a celebration of the enduring legacy of Noguchi’s work through a series of short films with artists, designers, architects, and dancers for whom the artistic polymath remains a powerful influence. Featuring Antony Gormley, Erchen Chang, Holly Hendry, Sumayya Vally, Thaddeus Mosley, Brendan Fernandes, Shezad Dawood, Lloyd Knight and Stephen Briars. View the full series HERE.

Installation views


Isamu Noguchi


Noguchi: In His Own Words
Barbican Centre



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