Wright to Offer Major Collection of Early Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures Curated by Adam Edelsberg

Wright is proud to present Taking Shape: The Akari Light Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi on March 30th featuring more than 50 historic Akari light sculptures by Japanese American artist and designer Isamu Noguchi. Curated by Adam Edelsberg, this first-ever dedicated auction of its kind features Akari designed and created between the early 1950s and the mid-1980s.  

Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures
Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures

The extensive selection showcases a body of work that Noguchi sustained across multiple decades and which stands as a testament to his seamless integration of art and design. The auction is accompanied by a fully illustrated, limited-edition hardcover print catalogue that includes historical context and essays, including a contribution from scholar Glenn Adamson. In his essay, Adamson notes that this event offers “a rare opportunity to see and compare a wide range of pristine early examples” of Akari. 

The entire collection will be presented together at New York’s High Line Nine in a public exhibition designed by Robert Gaul. This significant occasion affords an opportunity to not only view the evolution of Noguchi’s individual designs, but also to experience their collective impact as an installation. Adamson writes, “if, as Noguchi also liked to say, all one really needs to start a home is a room, a futon, and a single Akari hanging above, they are that much more powerful when installed en masse. The Akari offered encompass all the major lighting forms including table lamps, pendant fixtures and floor lamps. The estimated selling ranges begin at $2,000–3,000 for a 20-inch freestanding model 4N designed in 1968 to $10,000–15,000 for a hanging eight-foot tall model E designed in 1954.

Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures
Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures

As unique phenomenon, the Akari are simultaneously timelessly elegant works of luminous sculpture and objects that represent a specific moment in the history of modern design. Akari revealed a growing global appetite to live with art – an embodiment of Noguchi’s intention “to bring sculpture into a more direct involvement with the common experience of living.”  

Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures
Isamu Noguchi Akari Light Sculptures

The full selection of works featured in Taking Shape: The Akari Light Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi will be on view in New York from March 21st – 29th from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, at the High Line Nine at 527 W. 27th Street. The live auction will take place at Wright in Chicago on Thursday, March 30th, beginning at 11 am Central. and accommodates advanced bids, telephone bidding, and live online bidding via www.wright20.com

Lisbeth Thalberg
Lisbeth Thalberghttp://lisbeththalberg.wordpress.com
Journalist and artist (photographer). Editor of the art section at MCM.
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