Akari Light Sculptures by Isamu Noguchi are considered icons of 1950s modern design. Designed by Noguchi beginning in 1951 and handmade for a half century by the original manufacturer in Gifu, Japan, the paper lanterns are a harmonious blend of Japanese handcraft and modernist form. The lamps are created from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribbing, supported by a metal frame. The lamps accommodates up to a 40 watt bulb (not included).
- The lamps are created from handmade washi paper and bamboo ribbing, supported by a metal frame
- Dimensions: 9 Inch x 22 inch
- Wattage: 40 watts
- The images provided are from ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS
Akari Light Sculpture
One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Isamu Noguchi (1904–88) expanded the traditional notion of sculpture to include the creation of dance sets, gardens, playgrounds, fountains, and furniture. Within this range of spatial environment Isamu Noguchi's Akari Light Sculptures hold a unique place. Noguchi always considered his design work as an extension of his sculpture, bringing to the personal realm of the everyday the principles that infused his artwork—chiefly an elegant organic quality and a deep appreciation for the aesthetic traditions of his Japanese heritage, which does not draw distinctions between practical objects and works of art.
In 1951, on a trip to Japan, Noguchi—by now a famous artist— was asked by the mayor of the small town of Gifu to help revitalize the local lantern industry by creating a modern lamp for export. This was to be made of mulberry-bark paper, in keeping with local craft traditions. Noguchi continued to create his Akari Light Sculptures into the 1980s, eventually designing more than 200 models.
The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum is the distributor of Isamu Noguchi’s Akari Light Sculptures and the owner of the Noguchi, Isamu Noguchi, and Akari trademarks. With approval of final content, the Museum gives Gabriel Ross (grshop.com) permission to use the names Isamu Noguchi and Akari Light Sculptures, and the Akari logo on promotional materials as an authorized retailer of Akari Light Sculpture.
Akari Noguchi Model 4N Table Lamp Designed by:
- Isamu Noguchi
USA, 1904 – 1988
“The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. Its ideal does not deviate from that of nature…but I am also a sculptor of the West. I place my mark and do not hide.” – Isamu Noguchi
Isamu Noguchi was born in Los Angeles in 1904 to an Irish-American mother and Yone Noguchi, a Japanese poet. In 1906, Noguchi’s mother took him to Japan, where he attended school. While in Japan, Noguchi gained an appreciation for its landscape, architecture and craftsmanship. Noguchi returned to the US and enrolled in Columbia University to study medicine, while at the same time taking sculpture classes on the lower east side of New York City. It wasn’t long before he realized that art, not medicine, was his true calling. His interest in abstract art led him to Paris where he met and worked with the great modernist sculptor, Constantin Brancusi.
After World War II, Noguchi returned to Japan and found a community of young artists eager to take part in the optimism of his new ideas. He continued to make individual sculptures, but was also given the opportunity to work on larger site-specific pieces.
His classic designs — notably his Akari lamps and his free-form coffee table — have never been more popular. In New York, weary urbanites take tranquil refuge in the delicate light and shadow of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. He has gardens in Paris, Jerusalem, and New York and outdoor sculptures and environments in seventeen American cities. In these beautiful, spiritual, and finely constructed works Isamu Noguchi has created a dynamic testament to the ties between East and West. Noguchi died in December of 1988 at the age of 84, but his influence continues to spread.