1914 Wonderground Map goes on display in London

MacDonald ‘Max’ Gill, the slightly less well-known brother of sculptor and typographer Eric, is to be celebrated in a colourful showcase of artworks more than 60 years after his death. Born in 1884, Gill was an eminent designer, illustrator and architect, although he was later rather overshadowed by his successful brother.

Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill (20 September – 2 November) is a free retrospective at the PM Gallery in Ealing, London, an extension to the Sir John Soane-designed Pitzhanger Manor. The exhibition will put a number of rarely-viewed original artworks on display to the general public, giving a prime opportunity to explore the streets of London some 100 years ago.

A selection of the artworks included in the exhibition were uncovered by the nephew of Gill’s second wife when he inherited their family home in the 1980s. Rolled up in chests under the eaves of Gill’s Sussex cottage were a plethora of vivid poster maps of London in excellent condition which were carefully documented by Gill’s great-niece and biographer Caroline Walker.

One of Gill’s much-loved works is the Wonderground Map, a detailed account of London’s underground train stations completed in 1914. The beautifully-finished map remains in fantastic condition and will be one of the key pieces in Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill. The images below are close-up shots of the Wonderground Map and will be coupled with numerous other acclaimed works and Gill’s personal effects.

North West

North East

South East

South West

Also included in the exhibition are:

Highways of Empire (1927) – a traffic-stopper across the major cities of the Empire, this map launched the Empire Marketing Board’s publicity campaign

GPO Mail Steamship Routes (1937) – part of a set of three communications maps, this shows the transatlantic journey of mail from pillar box to quayside

Tea Revives the World (1940) – a global view of the history and beneficial effects of Britain’s national drink

Atlantic Charter (1942) – celebrating the Anglo-American treaty which led to the peacetime UN and the cementing of the ‘special relationship’, this poster features the signatures of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, pasted in to the original artwork

Out of the Shadows: MacDonald Gill
Dates: 20 September – 2 November 2013
Admission is free to all visitors.
PM Gallery & Pitzhanger Manor, Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ
Opening Times: Tues-Fri 1-5pm; Sat 11am-5pm; Sundays 1-5pm.
Further visitor information: www.ealing.gov.uk/pmgalleryandhouse

Crafting a portrait of Sydney

Sydney, the largest city of Australia by population, is a diverse mix of culture, architecture, food, ethnicity, sport and everything else. To make a portrait of such a multifaceted city is a real challenge by twin sisters, Leanne and Naomi Shedlezki have seen this as an opportunity and turned it into a collaborative art project ‘People Make Places: Sydney’.

All Sydney-siders are invited to create a piece that fits within a matchbox and responds to the theme ‘Sydney – My City’. The interpretation is open to one’s imagination. All the matchboxes are being collected and stored into large transparent boxes forming the artwork and the result is a unique portrait of the City of Sydney.

The intention for it is to travel to many places in the world introducing Sydney through the eyes of the locals, telling stories of urban life by its residents, portraying the character of today’s multi-cultural society. Click here to get involved.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens.

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens.

Can sound be a fourth dimension of architecture?

A visit to the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) was greeted with chiming music, similar to ‘Glass Harmonica’. It was ‘Clinamen’ – an installation of white porcelain bowls floating like  pearls on a blue water pool.

Circulating gently, swept along by submarine currents, floating crockery acts as a percussive instrument, creating a resonant, chiming acoustic soundscape, marked by complexity, hidden patterns and chance compositions. (Source NGV) Conceived and created by French artist, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, this large-scale sound based art installation built a warm ambience and reinforced a relaxing experience for the visitors, a perfect start for submerging into the world of art.

It makes one wonder at the possibility of experimenting with sound as a fourth dimension in design. Can a sound-scape enhance, influence or add value to architecture? Out of various correlation of art forms with architecture, this one is worth an exploration.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Melbourne’s Gallery of Graffiti

Vin and Priyanka Rathod

Hosier Lane is a well-known street in Melbourne that has made it to the list of must-see-places in the city. Situated in the city centre, right opposite the National Gallery of Victoria, this narrow back lane has gained a reputation as one of the most important cultural attractions in the city of Melbourne.

On an urban planning level, this is a service lane accommodating rear facades of the surrounding 19th-century brick buildings. Bins, exhaust grills and scaffoldings; you’ll find it all here. However, the graffiti and stencil artworks, many by very well-known artists, have the power of turning it into a beautiful walkway, attracting hundreds of curious visitors every day.

The artworks in this lane are a mix of graffiti and stencils. Some of them are legal and recorded by the council. They have made the alley an unofficial art gallery; a beautiful jumble that is always changing and evolving. If you’re lucky, you may see some street artists at work. Hosier Lane is truly a fine example of how the city of Melbourne allows for creative minds to experiment and nurture a creative culture in the city.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

In conversation with Rana Abboud, Designer of Digitalis

Vin and Priyanka Rathod

Vivid Sydney Festival had many interesting light-art installations by Architectural Professionals. Last week we met Rana Abboud, the architect behind Digitalis, the installation that rattled.

To use an everyday object in an unusual way was one of the main ideas behind the conceptualisation. One would never imagine plastic cups to be flowers, but that’s exactly what Digitalis showed us.

“No two flowers are the same, so I wanted the flower cups to be handmade. A factory process wouldn’t have allowed the subtle differences between the flowers,” says Rana who, with Ewen Wright, spent days and weeks making thousands of them.

The stamen of LED lights involved 10 steps to achieve the right shape, all of which Rana and Ewen did by themselves in their apartment. It is quite amazing to see what they have achieved within the timeframe of 6 – 8 months.

“An important thing for Vivid designers to keep in mind, is how people might actually interact with their installation, and try to make their installation as vandal-proof as possible.” She recalls organisers ringing her during 18 days of festival to inform some damages. Sometimes a flower was pulled apart from its stem, or sometimes an entire stem was removed from the ground.

Nevertheless, the experience of seeing people interacting with the installation was most rewarding. She mentioned an amusing moment when the whole garden was filled with sound of clapping: “One person thought the rattle was triggered by clapping instead of proximity sensors, and suddenly, everyone joined in! It was fun to watch.” When asked if she would do it again, there was no hesitation on her affirmative response: “It was a great event to be a part of; I would definitely do it again!”

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Conductors Project

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

While there are many new developments taking shape as means to provide infrastructure for the rapidly growing multicultural community in the City of Sydney, the city is also seeing variety of adaptive reuse projects in old abandoned buildings e.g. Carriageworks at Eveleigh, where an old carriage repair workshop has been transformed into a Contemporary art centre, and Cockatoo Island where the Convicts, Industrial and Ship building precinct of the past attracts a lot of campers and art lovers now. One such recent project is creative reuse of the stations of St James and Museum.

The Conductors Project has transformed the disused display cabinets of these two very busy train stations into an exhibition space. Daily commuters, on their way to work or home, can engage in a cultural experience through displays by various emerging and established artists. Such creative reuse shows the potential of transforming a building that was primarily used for transport to also have an element of art and creative exchange.

Currently showcasing photography of Andrew Quilty, the cabinets of St James and Museum have many interesting upcoming exhibitions.

Text by Priyanka Rathod. Images by Vin Rathod.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Crystal helps contemporary artists create inspiring work with water in the public realm

By Doug Duff, Founding Partner of Crystal, and Rob Mikula, a Senior Designer at Crystal

Water is a powerful tool. As an essential primal element, water tends to resonate with human beings who are often naturally drawn to it, especially when it is presented in a spectacular form. For artists, it is sculptural and highly versatile, and can create different movement, sounds, shapes and colours. For centuries artists have used water in their work to express themselves, and many examples of this can be found in the public realm. This is no different today, with contemporary artists using water as an expressive tool and taking advantage of the latest technology to create inspiring work.

Crystal, a world leader in water design and technology, has been collaborating with artists and helping them realise their visions since the company’s inception in 1967. It acts as a bridge between artists, architects and engineers, believing that fountains are a place where art, architecture and engineering graciously meet. Many of Crystal’s staff are artists themselves, and thrive on being able to converse with other artists and help bring their ideas to life.

Mark di Suvero

One artist that Crystal works with is Mark di Suvero. Born Marco Polo Levi-Schiff di Suvero in Shanghai, China in 1933 to Italian expatriates, he moved to San Francisco, California in 1941 with his family. From 1953 – 1957 di Suvero studied philosophy at the University of California, before moving to New York where surrounded by Abstract Expressionism, he focused all his attention on sculpture. Di Suvero is considered to be one of the most important sculptors of his generation, and his distinctive, large bold pieces can be found worldwide.

He was a founding member of the Park Place Gallery in New York, continues to be the subject of multiple exhibitions, and received the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center. Crystal collaborated with Di Suvero in 2005 at the headquarters of Calpers (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), the US government organisation in Sacramento, California.

“It was interesting working with Di Suvero at Calpers headquarters in Sacramento.  He’d never worked with water before, so when conceiving the sculpture, named ‘Serendipity’, he came to Crystal with his initial design. We became heavily involved with crafting the sculpture, with Suvero’s idea being to create a kinetic piece involving water,” Duff explains.

Having never worked with water, Suvero was very open to ideas. This created room for in-depth consultation with the artist, including materials to be used, the part water would play and how the kinetic element of the sculpture could be made interactive with its viewers.

“Being an artist and musician myself, I suggested a stainless steel keyboard, with eight keys linked to eight water jets, with their water pressure creating movement when the public press the keys – the idea was refined with Suvero and can be seen on the finished piece. It’s a great example of how Crystal collaborates with artists, rather than an artist simply asking us to create what they are imagining,” says Duff.

Jaume Plensa

Catalan artist Jaume Plensa had his first exhibition in Barcelona in 1980. A significant part of Plensa’s production is set in the context of public sculpture, with works installed in USA, Spain, France, Japan, UK, Korea, and Canada. His sculptural work has gone through several stages developed largely with recuperation materials such as iron, bronze, and copper, and more recently constituents such as synthetic resin, glass, plastic, light, video and sound.

Crystal was selected by Emaar and architects SOM to work with Plensa on the development of ‘World Voices’. For the prestigious residential lobby of the Burj Khalifa, the artist created installation befitting the world’s tallest building.

To this end, Plensa created 196 reed-like sculptures with golden leaves. Cast in bronze and brass and plated with 18-carat gold, the ‘leaves’ are actually cymbals suspended on flexible stainless steel rods anchored in two triangular reflecting pools at ground level. There are 196 cymbals in total representing the 196 countries of the world.

Crystal developed custom technology that creates the right size, volume, and control of the droplets that fall approximately 60ft (18.2m) from the atrium’s gold-leaf ceiling onto 18 of the gold cymbals. The droplets fall through 1inch / 25mm diameter openings in the lobby’s atrium ceiling, and create a natural rhythm as they make contact with the cymbals below. The cymbals create a distinct timbre as they are struck by the falling water droplets, which the artist compares to the sound of water falling on leaves.

Crystal developed the gravity-fed water controls that create bigger, natural droplets.  Part of the test workshop run in Toronto studied the size and formation of water droplets as they hit cymbals below, from a height of approximately 60ft. “It sounds like a simple idea, and in fact it looks simple, but to generate the right sound at the time intervals dictated by Plensa, was challenging,” says Mikula.

Jo Schneider

Jo Schneider creates sculpture, public art and architecture. She is renowned for creating environments that are striking, engaging and memorable. She has a Masters of Architecture degree from UCLA Graduate School of Architecture, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from SUNY College of Ceramics, Alfred University.

Duff worked closely with Jo Schneider on Macy’s Court in Plaza Las Americas, Puerto Rico, where a giant kinetic sculpture slowly revolves as if buffeted by winds, evoking the historic sails of the galleons in which Christopher Columbus navigated. The project was part of a renovation and expansion of Plaza Las Americas, with artistic elements aiming to recreate the island as it was in 1493 when Christopher Columbus discovered it.

In front of Macy’s Court, on the first level, the fountain is filled with Schneider’s sculptures of the Island’s marine life. A manatee, a turtle and various fish, share the waters in an artistic vision of the wonders of the sea. Even though some of these depicted species are endangered, the idea is they will swim forever here.

Duff says he and Schneider created the concept together, with Crystal providing the water effects to compliment the sculptures, and a motor to operate the manatee’s flippers. “Crystal was present for all crucial parts of the project’s installation, ready to make any necessary adjustments,” he explains.

So what for the future? Both Duff and Mikula agree that technology such as submersible LED Lights, new water jets with endless choreographed possibilities will drive the work artists create with water. Duff cites Digital Rain Curtains, which fashion specially created shapes, colours and pictures with water and LED Lights, as well as jets and lights that enable water to dance to music. These effects can now even be created on a ‘smart’ level with the public being able to control fountains with devices such as Apple’s iPad.

‘Waste Not’ installation by Song Dong at Carriageworks

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

From 3 ‘R’s of sustainable principles – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – ‘Reuse’ has most power of creating innovative and refreshing objects, that also have an embedded cultural value. Like inheritance from our ancestors, the reused objects have a story, making them very special, unlike mass produced things we buy everyday. This is why the installation Waste Not by artist Song Dong is one of its kind. And the fact that it has been housed under Carriageworks - a Waste Not, modern cultural space created by reusing the old Eveleigh rail yard in Sydney – makes it extraordinarily unique.

Waste Not is translated from Wu jin qi yong: anything that can somehow be of use, should be used as much as possible.

From paper bags to leather bags, bowls to bottles, bird cages and empty boxes, Waste Not is a massive collection by the artist’s mother, either out of fear of shortage or to reuse them as something else or because it reminded her of her deceased husband. The art compelled all visitors to feel the daily life of a whole generation of Chinese people, and question the everyday waste we generate today.

Televisions, record players and radios … the collection had it all. We overheard a visitor telling her friend “Doesn’t that bring back memories?!”

Presence of a home in the centre as a main focal point of the display, enhances the domestic nature of the collection, and ties it all together. The efforts of assembling, disassembling and transporting the house, over and above all the collected items, is well worth it.

Carriageworks, as a reused space, forms a perfect backdrop for the art installation. A great example of how architecture can add value to art.

Launched during Sydney Festival last month, Waste Not is on display until March 7th at Carriageworks. It is a perfect time to explore Carriageworks if you haven’t done so already.

Images by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod.

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Architectural spaces in art

Guest Contributors – Vin and Priyanka Rathod

There are many different types of Aboriginal artworks. But not many have inspired us to see them as ‘architectural spaces’ as much as the collection of ‘Living Water’ at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

“Aboriginal people from across the Western Desert use the term ‘living water’ to describe water sources, including rock holes and soakage waters that are fed by underground springs. The path of these springs was created by the ancestral beings of the tjukurrpa (dreaming) as they themselves journeyed underground, their entry into the earth often marking the site of current day water sources. ‘Living water’ is revered also because it does not seem to be affected by the harsh conditions above the ground that the people themselves have to endure.”

The above excerpt from the exhibit description mentions about underground spaces being inspiration for these painting and it was very evident in each artwork. The patterns of lines, circles and curves all give a spacial character transferable to an actual built form. Some suggested an area diagram, while others a 2-dimensional drawing. At some point, we started looking at the paintings as plan or section of a space and that made the viewing even more interesting. It was like going on a special studio of basic design to draw inspiration from objects around you.

Living Water‘ is on display until 3 Feb 2013 at NGV. They also have a paperback publication Living Water: Contemporary Art of the Far Western Desert on their shelf for those who would like to keep the inspirational memories with them forever.

Below are some photographs of the artwork that inspired us the most.

Photographs by Vin Rathod, text by Priyanka Rathod

Vin Rathod is an architect and a photographer. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai and Master of Construction Project Management from UNSW, Sydney. Vin is an Emerging Member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and works in Sydney, Australia. For Vin, each photograph is a design; a design for the subject, be it an art, architecture, city, or a sculpture. He thrives on creativity and imagination and is always developing new ideas. The photographs speak of his vision to see built-form as an artwork. A collection of Vin’s fine art photographs are constantly evolving as seen on his website Through Vin’s Lens

As an architect, Priyanka is very much interested in exploring designs with sustainable initiatives. After completing Bachelors of Architecture from KRVIA, Mumbai University, she did her Master of Architecture with major in Design from UNSW, Sydney. In her professional career, Priyanka has worked on variety of projects – urban and rural; commercial, institutional and healthcare both in India and Australia. Her volunteering initiatives include participation in the event organising team of Archikidz! Sydney 2012 held during Sydney Architecture Festival. Currently, Priyanka lives and works in Sydney enjoying her time between professional work and some personal initiatives including writing for Through Vin’s Lens

Hammer, Chisel, Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice

Often described as a perfectionist, Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988) was a prolific and highly experimental artist whose sixty-year career ranged in output from sculpture, furniture, lighting and ceramics to gardens, set design, architecture and interior design. One of the most critically acclaimed sculptors of the twentieth century, no material or artistic discipline seemed beyond the limits of Noguchi’s capabilities – nor his intrigue.

An exhibition of his studio practice at The Noguchi Museum in New York next month will include more than sixty of his specialist tools, along with photos and film footage of the artist at work and an array of finished and unfinished sculptures. Opening on October 3rd, 2012, ‘Hammer, Chisel, Drill: Noguchi’s Studio Practice’ will be the first exhibition to reveal the working methods of this influential sculptor.

Born in the United States to a Japanese father and American mother, Noguchi lived in Japan for 13 years before moving to Indiana. He returned to Japan throughout his life and was deeply influenced by Japanese artistic traditions; an emphasis on simplicity, sensitivity to materials and a respect for craftsmanship were central to his practice.

Having set up studios around the world, with each culture embedding its impression on his development as an artist, the exhibition is arranged in relation to Noguchi’s working methods and phases of experimentation in his most important studios: in Greenwich Village and Long Island City in New York, Pietrasanta and Querceta in Italy and Kita Kamakura and Mure in Japan. But the exhibition begins with his time in Paris during the spring of 1927, when he became an apprentice to Constantin Brancusi. The famed sculptor encouraged the 23-year-old Noguchi to carve directly into stone instead of making preliminary clay or plaster models, and his distinctive form of abstraction permeated Noguchi’s approach to sculpture. He helped to carve Brancusi’s iconic ‘Birds in Space’ with a chemin de fed, a tool displayed in the exhibition along with two of Noguchi’s early abstract sculptures.

The next section features his stone carving from three studios ranging from the 1940s through to the late 1980s. During these four decades, Noguchi moved from the use of power tools on thin sheets of stone in the US, to a return to direct stone carving from the marble quarries of Monte Altissimo in Italy, to the employment of hard, igneous stones such as granite and basalt in Mure, on the Japanese island of Shikoku. Responding to the inherent inertia and heaviness of the latter materials, he allowed his sculptures to evolve slowly, their forms emerging organically from the stone in the vein of Michelangelo.

In the 1950s Noguchi collaborated with a number of young architects and later in life experimented with architectural and landscape projects, such as the Sunken Garden of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University (1960-1964), which is illustrated in the exhibition by his plaster models of the commissioned project, set around his drafting table. The extent to which Noguchi’s own space and surroundings were integral to his working practice is indicated by the fact that his studio in Kita Kamakura, with its primitive earthen walls, was constructed under his close direction.

The exhibition responds with due sensitivity to Noguchi’s work, not only in regard to the sculpture itself but in its attention to the intricate tools that helped materialise his incredible vision. Director of The Noguchi Museum, Jenny Dixon states that ‘by taking visitors behind the scenes into Noguchi’s studios, Hammer, Chisel, Drill provides a rare opportunity to appreciate the extraordinary technical prowess and perfectionism behind his artistic achievement.’

The exhibition lasts until April 28th, 2013.