The Noguchi Chess Set.
This new edition of the 1944 Noguchi Chess Set is accompanied by an attractive Perspex black folding board with red and translucent white circular inlays, modelled after the artist’s original tabletop design.
The King: stands 3″ tall. The chessboard measures 22” x 24”. Isamu Noguchi was a Japanese American sculptor who created this Chess Set for the 1944 Imagery of Chess exhibition at Julien Levy Gallery in New York, organized by Levy and artists Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst.
Noguchi devised a simple but ingenious system of notching together thin contoured planes of material to create his new 3-D chess pieces. He chose a new experimental War-time material, Plexiglas. Noguchi crafted his design from translucent red and green Plexiglas to echo rubies and emeralds often found in Moghul jewelry. With the exception of the rook, all other pieces have headlike forms and arched spines.
There is no record of what happened to the original chess pieces, but ever since the 2005 debut of a replica set of Isamu Noguchi’s lost original 1944 chess set in the Imagery of Chess Revisited exhibition, the Noguchi Museum has been inundated with requests for a new edition.
Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was an artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public artworks, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham productions, and several mass-produced lamps and furniture pieces, some of which are still manufactured and sold.
In 1947, Noguchi began a collaboration with the Herman Miller company, when he joined with George Nelson, Paul László and Charles Eames to produce a catalog containing what is often considered to be the most influential body of modern furniture ever produced, including the iconic Noguchi table which remains in production today. His work lives on around the world and at the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York City.