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Over the course of his career, Noguchi made, commissioned, and collaborated on dozens of models for actual and theoretical spaces. Models for Spaces will feature five designs for projects that are either little known or for which the models have rarely been shown. These include Model of Gardens for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, 1956–57, Bloomfield, Connecticut (project realized; model fabricated 1999–2000 by AT Architects); Memorial to Buddha on the 2500th Anniversary of Buddha’s Paranamnirvana, 1957, New Delhi, India (project unrealized; model partially reconstructed 1978); Sacred Rocks of Kukaniloko, 1976, Oahu, Hawaii (project unrealized); Model for Heaven (Tengoku), also known as Interior Garden for Sogetsu Flower Arranging School, c. 1977–78, Tokyo, Japan (project realized); and Model for California Scenario, Costa Mesa, c. 1980–82 (project realized; model fabricated by Fuller & Sadao, P.C.).
Each model, representing a specific project for a real space, will be installed to emphasize how Noguchi used it, with materials that explain how he wanted the actual space to function. As a whole, the exhibition will reflect Noguchi’s belief in sculpture as the manipulation of our experience of space. In his words, “if sculpture is the rock, it is also the space between rocks and between the rock and a man, and the communication and contemplation between.”