Championing a radical and utopian vision, the artists profiled in the Guggenheim’s new exhibit Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe brought the concept of “total works of art” to new heights, especially when it came to objects and interior design, according to organizer and museum senior curator Vivian Greene. From the bedroom Giacomo Balla designed for his daughter in 1914 to the art houses (Casa d'Arte) he and other designers like Fortunto Depero created across Italy, forward-thinking design was applied to every aspect of life.
One of the most idiosyncratic artists of the 20th century, Japanese-American designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi fashioned a future of organic shapes and clean lines, an elegant fusion of trends and traditions. A restless thinker, world traveler and collaborator, Noguchi’s eclectic career covered so much ground, just a fragment—set design with dance icon Martha Graham or his public artworks and sculptures—would make for a distinguished career. Here we examine some of his iconic furniture and interior designs.