Museo Tamayo presents “Noguchi´s Playscapes” Central to the exhibition is the vision by one of the most important sculptors of the twentieth century on playgrounds and public space. This is the first exhibition in the world that brings together over 50 years of research by Isamu Noguchi, including scale models, sketches, architectural drawings and photographs, along with reconstructions of playful sculptural and functional spaces.
Isamu Noguchi (Los Angeles, 1904 – New York, 1988) was a multifaceted artist with a career defined by his continuous exploration of the sculptural medium, expanding it into other disciplines such as set design, architecture, landscaping, and graphic design. Born of a Japanese father and American mother, Noguchi grew up amid two cultures that were constantly set against one another, both in his work and in his artistic and intellectual collaborations with figures such as the inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller, the architect Louis Kahn, the composer John Cage, and the choreographer Martha Graham.
Noguchi’s Playscapes is an exhibition that focuses on this artist’s vision of playgrounds and the public space. The show revisits some of Isamu Noguchi’s key ideas on how to discuss play, recreation, and education, and thus provoke a reconsideration of these categories within the sense of community that exists in our times. Embracing the possibility of closing the gap between art and functionality, Noguchi fiercely defended the idea that sculpture is an aesthetic and cultural tool capable of smoothing our passage between individuality and society. He took a favorable view of the democratization of art and the public space, inspiring him to create a number of playgrounds and play structures designed to stimulate creative activity as a way of learning about and participating in the world.
The scale models, sketches, set designs, and archive images included in this show—the first of its kind in Mexico—attest to the artist’s fifty-year-long investigation of spaces for play. The Museo Tamayo has reproduced some of his play equipments, which were made for last time in Japan four decades ago. Located both inside and outside the building, these equipments will be accesible to visitors of the museum and of Chapultepec Park.