Outdoor Sculpture Collection
Isamu Noguchi’s Soliloquy from 1962 is currently on view on our outdoor Sculpture Terrace, silhouetted against a pale travertine pillar. The bronze work is composed of lines reaching upward and elegantly held together at several points, with a stone-like shape in the center. Suspended on a thin rod, the sculpture appears to float upward despite its weight. The American artist created Soliloquy as part of a series of works, made from 1959 to 1962, with melancholic names “that convey emotions” such as Solitude, Mortality, and The Cry. These sculptures reference the delicate balance of life, of sculpture, and of calligraphy, which inspired the vertical strokes and arrangements. The works in this series began as lightweight balsa wood forms and were later cast in bronze. Noguchi wrote on the balance between these two materials, in response to another work from the series: “The life of this sculpture comes from an ephemeral lightness, a delicacy, as with balsawood. Bronze adds a sense of weight, which is also to be valued.” In entitling the work Soliloquy, Noguchi alludes to the literary device used for sharing a character’s inward thoughts, which further emphasizes the sculpture’s solitary, emotive form.