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Looking Up: The Skyviewing Sculptures of Isamu Noguchi

Curated exclusively for the Western Gallery by Dakin Hart, Senior Curator at The Noguchi Museum in New York, the exhibition brings Noguchi’s skyviewing sculptures together for the first time. Skyviewing was an important theme in Noguchi’s art, but it has never before been explored in depth. More than 40 sculptures and several drawings have been loaned for the exhibition by The Noguchi Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection of Noguchi’s work.

The exhibition explores the various forms that the skyviewing theme takes in context of original works, comprising 60 years of Noguchi’s long career, 1928—1988. Acting as observatories, reflecting telescopes, or sundials, the sculptures mirror the firmament, trace the path of the sun with cast shadows or lead the eye up towards the sky. One of Noguchi’s most ambitious exploration of the theme was accomplished with the 17-foot high Skyviewing Sculpture that he created for Western’s central plaza, Red Square in 1969. The sculpture is a landmark on campus and recognized by the whole community. Along with other sculptures in Western’s renowned sculpture collection, the Skyviewing Sculpture has long been a resource for self-directed education and is used for interpretative training in several courses in the University’s different colleges. This will be expanded during the exhibition. Beyond talks and creative activities for schools and families, extensive interpretative events will take place during the exhibition, including a two day symposium (TBA).


With generous support from

This exhibition is supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation






Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and critically acclaimed artists. Through a lifetime of experimentation, he set a new standard for the reintegration of the arts with his sculptures, gardens, furniture and lighting designs, ceramics, architecture, and set designs. His ultimate objective, to create and enhance public spaces through sculpture, provided his career with a distinct direction and established him as a critical figure in the worlds of post-war art, architecture and design. His sculptures, fountains, and gardens are focal points in many cities in the United States, Japan, and worldwide.

Isamu Noguchi, Skyviewing Sculpture (1969), Western Washington University
Isamu Noguchi, Skyviewing Sculpture (1969), Western Washington University
Isamu Noguchi, Model for Sky Gate (1974-1977)
Isamu Noguchi, Sky Mirror, 1983
Isamu Noguchi, Sculpture to be Seen from  Mars (1947)