Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content

Noguchi, Song

Song of the Bird1958Marble and graniteBird: 47 3/3 × 18 1/2 × 13 1/4 inches; Song: 116 3/4 × 15 1/2 × 16U-345.1961University of Nebraska–Lincoln, bequests of Frances Sheldon and Adams Bromley Sheldon Isamu NoguchiIsamu Noguchi trained in pre-medicine at Columbia University, but ultimately pursued his interest in sculpture and apprenticed with Onorio Ruotolo. In 1926, Noguchi received a Guggenheim Fellowship and moved to Paris to work as a studio assistant to Constantin Brancusi. Inspired by the latter’s use of materials and approach to pure and reductive forms, Noguchi increasingly created abstract art, often adding lyrical or mysterious elements. Song of the Bird not only pays tribute to Brancusi, but also to the use of African and Oceanic sculptural forms in fashioning a modernist sculptural idiom in Europe—Noguchi’s granite piece, which stands in relation to the white marble piece, is a tribute to ancient Greek sculpture. American 19041988New York, NYLos Angeles, CA