"The art of stone in a Japanese garden is that of placement. Its ideal does not deviate from that of nature... But I am also a sculptor of the West. I place my mark and do not hide." - Isamu Noguchi

Isamu Noguchi (born Isamu Gilmour in 1904, Los Angeles) reminds Gothamist a lot of Howard Roark. Noguchi was a sculptor, designer, architect, and craftsman who transformed stone into sculptures that exemplified their natural surroundings. We're pretty sure that at one point in his life Isamu Noguchi laughed while standing on the edge of a granite cliff.

He dropped out of Columbia, where he was studying medicine, after taking sculpting classes in the LES and finding his true passion. His contemporary abstract sculpture was not widely accepted at first, but now it graces gardens worldwide. He even created the entrance to the Associated Press building in New York (image at left). And we bet you or somone you know has one of his lamps.

Read Noguchi's full chronology here.

On Saturday, June 12th 2004 (after nearly 3 years of renovations) The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum doors will re-open to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:00pm. The innaugural exhibit entitled Isamu Noguchi: Sculptural Design will run through Sunday, October 3, 2004.