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Isamu Noguchi in his studio

An exhibition celebrating Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), one of the most experimental and pioneering artists of the 20th century.

Noguchi explores the kaleidoscopic career of a true artistic polymath. This exhibition, which is his first touring retrospective in Europe for 20 years, focuses on Noguchi as a global citizen and his risk-taking approach to sculpture as a living environment. 

‘Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.'

Over 150 works are presented, including an extraordinary range of sculptures – made in stone, ceramics, wood and aluminium – as well as theatre set designs, playground models, furniture and lighting.

Embracing social, environmental and spiritual consciousness, Noguchi believed sculpture could 'be a vital force in our everyday life' and saw art 'as something which teaches human beings how to become more human.'

Tagged with: Art & design Noguchi

This exhibition is organised and curated by Barbican Centre (London), Museum Ludwig (Cologne) and Zentrum Paul Klee (Bern), in partnership with LaM - Lille Métropole Musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut.

This exhibition would not have been possible without the collaboration of The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York.

The exhibition is generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, U.S. Embassy London and 

Logo for Terra

Your Visit

A few things to consider before your visit:

  • Advance Booking is essential
  • Long umbrellas will not be allowed in the gallery.
  • There is no age limit, but under 14's must be accompanied and young children should be supervised by an adult at all times
  • We ask that guests do not touch the artwork

Noguchi: Resonances

Our digital residency offers a unique insight into Isamu Noguchi, as artists, curators and thinkers reflect on his archive and artistic legacy


‘Noguchi created beautiful sculptures, and he did it so well that he changed the world‘
‘A real treat ‘
‘Everyone should see this sparkling show‘
‘A dazzling display of the master’s multi-disciplinary work‘
‘The exhibition looks lovely. The Barbican’s Brutalist bush-hammered concrete internal landscape could have been made for Noguchi. ‘
Eddie Heathcote, Financial Times
‘Playful, abstract, made in the aftermath of war… what unites the Japanese American sculptor’s all-embracing work – the art, the furniture, the ballet sets – is his sheer joy of making‘
‘This is a pure, exquisitely composed show... Compelling and uplifting.‘


An collage of the artists in Noguchi TV

Noguchi TV

In Noguchi TV we celebrate the enduring legacy of Noguchi’s work through a series of short films with artists, designers, architects, and dancers for whom the artistic polymath remains a powerful influence.

An image of Tomoko performing in the gallery

Barbican Sessions: Tomoko Sauvage

Japanese musician and artist Tomoko Sauvage performs an electro-acoustic response to the exhibition. She uses two of the sculptures themselves as well as her ceramic waterbowl instruments to generate a soundscape in the Art Gallery.

An image of the Noguchi exhibition

Noguchi: Exhibition Guide

Read the Noguchi exhibition guide and get yourself familiar with the works before visiting. Featuring section introductions and a Gallery map. 

An image of Noguchi carving in his studio

Introducing Isamu Noguchi

Assistant Curator at The Noguchi Museum in New York, Kate Wiener introduces the life and work of Japanese American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi, drawing from Noguchi’s autobiographical writings and documents from The Noguchi Museum Archives.

An archive shot of Noguchi

Noguchi: In His Own Words

Isamu Noguchi, on his own career and practice. He talks about his sources of inspiration, his process and why it was important to him that his art was accessible to all. 

Conservatory x Akari Cloud

Explore the Conservatory under a magical cloud of Akari light sculptures by Isamu Noguchi


School Groups 

Entry to the Art Gallery is free for all students in Key Stages 1-3. A discounted group booking rate of £3 per student is available to students in formal education groups up to the age of 19. 

School Visiting Slots

We will be running a series of schools-only viewing slots for groups of up to 30 students to view the exhibition and receive a tour. The dates available are:

Tue 9 Nov 10-11am
Tue 16 Nov  10-11am
Thu 18 Nov 2-3pm
Tue 23 Nov 10-11am
Thu 25 Nov 2-3pm 
Tue 30 Nov 10-11am

For bookings and enquiries please contact us at [email protected]

Learning Resource 

Download our Learning Resourcesuitable for Key Stages 1 - 5. Inspired by Noguchi’s playful and experimental spirit, the questions are aimed to get students of all ages exploring his life and work. 


Art Gallery