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Design and Art Collide in Isamu Noguchi's 1948 "Freeform" Sofa

Designed in 1948, Isamu Noguchi’s “Cloud” Freeform Sofa with its biomorphic, organic shape is a direct extension of the artist’s sculptural aesthetic and it effortlessly blurs distinctions between design and art.

The idea of furniture as art was, at the time, a rather new concept that was fostered, at least in part, by several programs initiated by the Museum of Modern Art, New York in the 1940s to introduce good design to a wider audience.

Noguchi (1904-1988) traveled throughout his lifetime and was inspired by experiences, artists and techniques around the world. Never confined by material or a particular movement, Noguchi”s aesthetic accomplishments covered a broad range including sculpture, furniture and lighting design, parks, gardens, theater and more.

His first retrospective was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1968. He received multiple accolades and awards during his lifetime and in 1986 he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. A testament to his commitment to public spaces, in 1985 Noguchi opened The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum in Long Island City, New York (now known as The Noguchi Museum) and today his legacy lives on through the museum”s work.

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