OOSI Sculpture

Rock Carvings: Passage of the Seasons

1981 / Isamu Noguchi / Cleveland

00825 Rock Carving Passage.jpg

The piece consists of three large monoliths of Japanese basalt. In it's natural, untouched state the stone is a dull, grainy ocher, but where polished it becomes a lustrous gray-black. The three stones have individual names according to what Noguchi told the Plain Dealer in 1981 at the piece's installation. The largest stone, on the hill, is called "The Gift", the second largest, across the driveway, is called "The Donor", and the smallest of the three, by the tree, is called "The Tree." He chose these names to commemorate the fact that this sculpture was a gift of the Mildred Andrews Foundation.

Noguchi stated that he was anxious about the fact that the site that Sherman Lee, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art at the time (and avid collector of much of the museum's Asian art collection), was on a hill. Noguchi did not want to use the hill as a pedestal nor did he want a piece that rose out of it, he wanted to create a piece that floated around the hill and defined the space.

Noguchi was inspired to create a piece that acted like a portal to the museum. However, unlike in his piece "Portal" at the Justice Center in Downtown Cleveland, this portal is less literal and more symbolic. He recognized the  "Oriental inclination" of the CMA and wanted to link the museum with the East from the outset. Noguchi stated that this piece "recalls the Orient without being specifically Oriental" due to its esteemed relationship with nature, often shared in Chinese and Japanese painting. 

The piece represents a cooperation between artist and nature in the creation of artwork. The hand of each is clearly delineated by the natural qualities of the rock. Time itself seems to flow through and around  the natural erosions and the man-made contours that appear to have dominated nature. 

Location: West drive at North entrance, close to Wade Oval, 11150 East Boulevard

County

: Cuyahoga

Citation

: Isamu Noguchi, “Rock Carvings: Passage of the Seasons,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed October 15, 2018, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/825.

Dublin Core

Title

Rock Carvings: Passage of the Seasons

Description

The piece consists of three large monoliths of Japanese basalt. In it's natural, untouched state the stone is a dull, grainy ocher, but where polished it becomes a lustrous gray-black. The three stones have individual names according to what Noguchi told the Plain Dealer in 1981 at the piece's installation. The largest stone, on the hill, is called "The Gift", the second largest, across the driveway, is called "The Donor", and the smallest of the three, by the tree, is called "The Tree." He chose these names to commemorate the fact that this sculpture was a gift of the Mildred Andrews Foundation.

Noguchi stated that he was anxious about the fact that the site that Sherman Lee, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art at the time (and avid collector of much of the museum's Asian art collection), was on a hill. Noguchi did not want to use the hill as a pedestal nor did he want a piece that rose out of it, he wanted to create a piece that floated around the hill and defined the space.

Noguchi was inspired to create a piece that acted like a portal to the museum. However, unlike in his piece "Portal" at the Justice Center in Downtown Cleveland, this portal is less literal and more symbolic. He recognized the  "Oriental inclination" of the CMA and wanted to link the museum with the East from the outset. Noguchi stated that this piece "recalls the Orient without being specifically Oriental" due to its esteemed relationship with nature, often shared in Chinese and Japanese painting. 

The piece represents a cooperation between artist and nature in the creation of artwork. The hand of each is clearly delineated by the natural qualities of the rock. Time itself seems to flow through and around  the natural erosions and the man-made contours that appear to have dominated nature. 

Creator

Date

1981

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Site

West drive at North entrance, close to Wade Oval

Location Street

11150 East Boulevard

Creation Date

01/01/1981