Furniture as sculpture
The Master of Balance
In his sculpture, architecture, outdoor environments, and theater designs, Noguchi masterfully balanced past and present, myth and modern science, and aesthetics and function. His furniture designs were no different - a fact George Nelson quickly recognized during visits to Noguchi's Washington Square studio in New York City
A Rare Offering
Designed in 1944 and introduced for sale in 1949, the Rudder series originally included coffee and dining height tables, as well as stools. Production of the series ceased only three years later. Today, original pieces from the series are rare and command significant prices at auction.
Everything Is Sculpture
The Rudder Table exemplifies one of Noguchi's signature aesthetics. He said, "Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture." Noguchi's approach to design led him to use industrial and natural materials to create objects like his Rudder Table, which is both a beautiful sculpture and a functioning coffee table.
How to Make a Table
Nelson was impressed by what he called Noguchi's "fabulous craftsmanship" and innovative use of marble. He used Noguchi's iconic glass-topped coffee table to illustrate his article, "How to Make a Table," which led to Noguchi's relationship with Herman Miller. This relationship resulted in the designer's Rudder series of tables and stools.