Tuesday, November 10, 2015

the last book I ever read (Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera, excerpt ten)

from Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera:

Appalachian Spring, the last of Graham’s dances based on American themes, is about a young pioneering couple taking possession of a newly built house in the mountains of Pennsylvania. “New land, new house, new life; a testament to the American settler, a folk theater,” was Noguchi’s summary. His set consisted of a spare structure of wooden poles that stood for the framework of a rudimentary house, a canvas panel painted to look like a clapboard wall, a tree stump, a log fence, and a semiabstract rocking chair placed on a raised area that stood for a porch. “I attempted through the elimination of all non-essentials to arrive at an essence of the stark pioneer spirit, that essence which flows out to permeate the stage. It is empty but full at the same time. It is like Shaker furniture.” Graham recalled that to show Noguchi what she wanted for Appalachian Spring she took him to the Museum of Modern Art to see Giacometti’s 1932 Palace at Four a.m. “He was not very happy about going, but we went. And he understood immediately the quality of space I was looking for.”

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