"I do not wish to belong to any school," Isamu Noguchi said. "I am always learning, always discovering." The son of a Japanese poet and Scottish-American writer, Noguchi never wanted to be limited by any idea or viewpoint—not even his own. And in six decades of work, he never was. As a sculptor, he created realistic works and abstract pieces. As a designer, he put his unique stamp on stage sets, gardens, fountains, sliding boards, plazas, and furniture.
The three-legged, glass-topped Noguchi table is perhaps his most well-known furniture design, and he always said it was his only furniture success. We would argue with that assessment. What about his lamps, including the gorgeous Akari paper lights that could be folded and slipped into an envelope? What about his chess table and the futuristic chess pieces that went with it? The man who was told by his first art teacher that he would never be a sculptor left a legacy of sculptural beauty and innovation all over the world.