Seeing the opportunity to use his extraordinary position as a human bridge between Japan and the United States, Isamu Noguchi — after completing his design for the bridges to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park — was invited in 1951 to design the park’s centerpiece, a cenotaph to the dead. Unfortunately, the political will and funds never materialized and the project was never carried out. Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was one of the 20th century's most significant sculptors, yet his resolute redefinition of the art form led to a practice spanning gardens, playgrounds, public projects, furniture, lighting, and set design. He believed strongly in the social role of art and dedicated much of his life to creating public works such as parks, plazas, and fountains. Born in Los Angeles to a white American mother and a Japanese father, Noguchi felt a lifelong sense of never really belonging anywhere, and channeled this into his artistic vision and philosophy, aspiring to be a citizen of the world. Noguchi’s first retrospective in the United States was in 1968 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In 1985, Noguchi opened the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, now known as The Noguchi Museum, in Long Island City, New York. In 1986, he represented the United States at the Venice Biennale. In accordance with his wishes, his studio in Mure, Japan, became the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum Japan in 1999. Noguchi received the Edward MacDowell Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to the Arts in 1982; the Kyoto Prize in Arts in 1986; the National Medal of Arts in 1987; and the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese government in 1988.

Portrait of Isamu Noguchi [at "Isamu Noguchi," Mitsukoshi Department Store (Nihombashi Head Store), Tokyo, Japan], 1950.The Noguchi Museum Archives, 04337. Photo: Jun Miki. ©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / ARS

Organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes
in collaboration with ICAN

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is an exhibition of posters that call for universal nuclear disarmament. Each made by a different artist, the group comprises historical and newly
commissioned works that detail a cultural history of disarmament movements and evidence the diversity of ways in which artists have expressed the need to ban the bomb. ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB is designed for maximum agility and economic effectiveness, relying on a black and white palette both for its impact and ease o reproduction. We asked artists to ensure their works can exist on a variety of supports, ephemera such as posters, postcards, billboards, banners, flags, t-shirts and social media posts, as we aspire to achieve the widest possible circulation of this message.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB presents the works of foundational conceptual artists Art & Language; pop hero, Keith Haring; legendary feminists, Guerrilla Girls; performance artists Regina José Galindo and Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, as well
as eminent sculptors Magdalena Abakanowicz and Isamu Noguchi. It also features indelible photographs by Robert Del Tredici and Ken Domon alongside protest graphics from social movements such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), founded in 1958 and still active; the epic Peace Squadron and Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms (VAANA); and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Additionally, it examines how stories are told, from the theater of Bread and Puppet to films like Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and Marguerite Duras / Alain Resnais’ Hiroshima Mon Amour, to an unexpected survey of literature, from an early
anticipation of an atomic bomb, first envisioned by H.G. Wells in 1918, to the viscera spoken word poetry of Jayne Cortez.

ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB, organized by Estudio Pedro Reyes in collaboration with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is presented on the occasion of the Second Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held at the United Nations in 2023.

To organize en exhibition of ARTISTS AGAINST THE BOMB please contact curatorial assistant Verana Codina.

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