Isamu Noguchi was an iconic artist, sculptor, and landscape architect, renowned for creating some of the most beautifully abstract sculptures of the 20th century. His ability to use simple shapes and forms to create complex designs is still admired today. Unfortunately, as with any artist of this caliber, there are those out there who seek to profit off his name by creating counterfeit sculptures. These fake sculptures, known as Noguchi knock offs, have flooded the market and have deceived countless collectors. In this article, we will look at the history of Noguchi’s art, why his works are targeted by counterfeiters, and how to spot Noguchi knock offs.
Isamu Noguchi’s Art
At the age of 22, Noguchi was introduced to the world of sculpture by his mother’s Japanese poet friend. He later studied under the tutelage of Constantin Brancusi in Paris before returning to New York in the early 1930s. Noguchi’s art is characterized by his ability to create abstract shapes and forms that are both organic and geometric in nature. His sculptures often incorporate a variety of materials, including wood, stone, and metal, and are inspired by his travels and personal experiences.
Why Noguchi’s Art is Targeted by Counterfeiters
It is no surprise that Noguchi’s art would be a target for counterfeiters. His works sell for millions of dollars at auction, making it a lucrative market for forgers. Additionally, Noguchi’s minimalist style and simple forms make his sculptures easier to replicate. This, coupled with the fact that Noguchi did not sign many of his sculptures, makes it difficult for collectors to spot the fakes.
How to Spot Noguchi Knock Offs
There are several ways to identify Noguchi knock offs. First, it is important to know that authentic Noguchi sculptures were often made in limited editions. If you come across a sculpture that claims to be a Noguchi but is not part of a limited edition, it is likely a fake. Second, examine the materials of the sculpture. Noguchi used a variety of materials, but each material had unique markings and patterns that can be identified by experts. If the material is off or looks fake, it is likely a knock off. Finally, authenticate the sculpture with an expert. There are still several institutions that are authorized to authenticate Noguchi sculptures, such as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in New York.