If you are in Long Island City, you will find several strange little pockets of culture. PS1, for instance. After the 7, take the Q103 Bus at 50th Avenue and Vernon to Vernon and 33rd Road.gets you around Costco. There is a large sculpture Garden nearby, and then there is the Noguchi.
About a year after I left Pratt, I signed up one summer for an architecture appreciation class at the New School. The professor asked us to give an example of form we liked. I remember doing a sketch of the big cube sculpture. There are 2 I can remember. One is all black at Cooper Union Square, where hippies used to put mattresses under. The other, the one I loved, sat in front of a modern buidling on a sandstone like pavement. It was fire engine red with a cylindrical hole lined with polished aluminum. Later, I learned it was done by Noguchi.
Isamu Noguchi (1904-88) was a Japanese American sculptor and artist. His work often shows a beautiful sensitivity to materials and form. In the old Noguchi Museum in Sunnyside, down a little from where the temporary MoMA Queens was, there were many examples of his beautiful paper lanterns. Beautiful shapes and very modern. Here much of his work in stone and wood. Most minimalist. Some sketches too, which are the most fun to see.
The only problem I had was the nonlabeling of projects. They had these sheets in protective clear sleeves, which was somewhat annoying. It took me a while to catch on.
My favorite story about Noguchi is during the course of his affair with Frida Kahlo, he got caught in bed with her when Diego Rivera came home. He grabbed his clothes and jumped out the window, which was on the second floor!