New York, NY (March 14, 2019) — The Noguchi Museum has selected renowned fashion designer Rei Kawakubo as recipient of the 2019 Isamu Noguchi Award, given to individuals who share Isamu Noguchi’s spirit of innovation, global consciousness, and commitment to East/West cultural exchange.
Hailed as one of the most brilliant and innovative designers of our time, Rei Kawakubo has consistently defied notions not only of beauty, but also of what fashion can be, at once confounding our expectations for clothing and—like Noguchi challenging the idea that design and art are inherently different endeavors. Also like Noguchi, Kawakubo celebrates not only forms, but also the spaces between them.
Kawakubo is founder of COMME des GARÇONS and co-founder of Dover Street Market, and her design practice extends beyond clothing to the graphic design, advertising, and interiors for her businesses, which she considers to be inextricable components of her aesthetic vision. Her work has appeared in several exhibitions, including a critically acclaimed solo exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017, which was only the second monographic show awarded to a living designer by The Met. This year marks the 50th anniversary of COMME des GARÇONS.
Kawakubo received the Fashion Group International Award in 1986 and the Excellence in Design Award from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 2000. In 1993 she was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government. She divides her time between Tokyo and Paris.
The Award will be presented at the Museum’s annual benefit, on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard)
Long Island City, NY
Founded in 1985 by Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988), one of the leading sculptors and designers of the twentieth century, The Noguchi Museum was the first museum in America to be established, designed, and installed by a living artist to show their own work. Widely viewed as among the artist’s greatest achievements, the Museum comprises ten indoor galleries in a converted factory building, as well as an internationally acclaimed outdoor sculpture garden. Since its founding, it has served as an international hub for Noguchi research and appreciation. In addition to housing the artist’s archives and the catalogue raisonné of his work, the Museum exhibits a comprehensive selection of sculpture, models for public projects and gardens, dance sets, and his Akari light sculptures. Provocative, frequently-changing installations drawn from the permanent collection, together with diverse special exhibitions related to Noguchi and the milieu in which he worked, offer a rich, contextualized view of Noguchi’s art and illuminate his enduring influence as a category-defying, multicultural, cross-disciplinary innovator.
Previous recipients of the Isamu Noguchi Award include: 2014—Lord Norman Foster and
Hiroshi Sugimoto; 2015—Jasper Morrison and Yoshio Taniguchi; 2016—Tadao Ando and
Elyn Zimmerman; 2017—John Pawson and Hiroshi Senju; 2018—Naoto Fukasawa and
Edwina von Gal.