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My Uncle

Isamu Noguchi

American Art

The surface of this head is lifelike, but its expression may lead us to contemplate the psychic life at play behind the closed eyes. The sculptor Isamu Noguchi modeled this likeness of his uncle Takagi, a Buddhist priest, in gratitude for his hospitality during the artist’s visit to Tokyo in 1931. One of three casts from the original clay sculpture, the head suggests the “closed-eye vision” achieved through meditation.
MEDIUM Terracotta, plaster
DATES 1931
DIMENSIONS 16 1/2 × 9 × 8 in. (41.9 × 22.9 × 20.3 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Incised at back of neck, proper left: "1931 / ISAMU"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Head of man facing frontally with eyes closed, loosely modeled surface. Molding seams are visible and there is plaster trapped in many of the recesses, presumably from the orignal mold. Condition: Good.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Isamu Noguchi (American, 1904–1988). My Uncle, 1931. Terracotta, plaster, 16 1/2 × 9 × 8 in. (41.9 × 22.9 × 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 42.339. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 42.339_front_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 42.339_front_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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