The sculptor and designer described his coffee table as his best furniture design because it reminds the organic forms of bronze and marble sculptures that he was making in the same period and turn Isamu Noguchi’s table into a real sculpture. Its thick glass top lies on two identical pieces of wood which they are positioned at right angles.
The story behind Isamu Noguchi’s table is fascinating. He went to Hawaii to make an advertisement and met Robsjohn-Gibbings, a furniture designer, who asked him to design a coffee table. He designed a plastic scale model and he never heard from him again. When he got to a concentration camp in Arizona during the Second World War, he saw a variation in real scale of the table he had designed for Robsjohn-Gibbings in an advertisement of the same designer. To revenge, he made his own variant of his own table which used to illustrate an article by Herman Miller and George Nelson and the coffee table became a famous table.
Isamu Noguchi’s coffee table represents the perfect balance between art and furniture, he joined a curved wooden base with a glass top with freeform. This ethereal result, without forgetting the practical design, makes it a sturdy and durable table. This fusion of sculptural form and function turns it into a minimalist indispensable element since 1948.
For Isamu Noguchi everything is sculpture
Isamu Noguchi is an American-Japanese designer and artist whose work is characterized by being widely varied. Since 2002, the Vitra Design Museum produces re-editions of his works in collaboration with his Foundation in New York. Actually some of these designs take part of the Vitra Collection.
Isamu Noguchi was born in 1904 in Los Angeles and he studied at Columbia University and the Leonardo Da Vinci Art School. In 1927 he received the Guggenheim Fellowship and founded his first studio. Later sand becomes assistant to Constantin Brancusi in Paris and he presented his first exhibition in New York. He studied brush painting with in China and he worked with Ton for Jinamatsu One in Japan.
His artistic creativity reflects his life and work in different cultural areas. His talent is universal creating both sculptures, set designs, furniture, lamps, interior and public spaces and gardens. Great design influencer in the 50s, his sculptural style is committed to organic forms.
His aim was to do the same as his father, Japanese poet, translations from East to West through his sculpture and he achieve it thanks to his table.