Art At Rockefeller Center – For Example – “News” By Isamu Noguchi

28 Dec

Art is everywhere you look.

But often, I am overwhelmed at the art in New York City.

Much of it is FREE for the viewing.

Consider Rockefeller Center.

I love this  piece by Isamu Noguchi entitled “News” (Commissioned 1938-1940. Low-relief panel of stainless steel – 22 feet high, 17 feet wide – located above the main entrance to 50 Rockefeller Plaza.)

From their website:

Soaring above the entrance to 50 Rockefeller Plaza, this dynamic plaque symbolizes the business of the building’s former tenant, the Associated Press. One of the major Art Deco works in the Center, it depicts five journalists focused on getting a scoop. AP’s worldwide network is symbolized by diagonal radiating lines extending across the plaque. Intense angles and smooth planes create the fast-paced rhythm and energy of a newsroom. News is the first heroic-sized sculpture ever cast in stainless steel and the only time Noguchi employed stainless steel as an artistic medium.”

I have read that News was Isamu Noguchi’s first major architectural commission.

From The Noguchi Museum’s website:

Noguchi’s work was not recognized in the United States until 1938, when he completed a large-scale sculpture symbolizing the freedom of the press, which was commissioned for the Associated Press building in Rockefeller Center, New York City.”

I’d say that he got off to a mighty fine start!

You can take a tour of Rockefeller Center, and learn all about its buildings and its art.

Here’s a review of the tour, and in part it says:

Opened in 1933, Rockefeller Center was one of the first building complexes to incorporate artwork throughout, all reflecting the progress of man and new frontiers. The most significant urban complex of the 20th century, Rockefeller Center’s innovations included heated buildings and the first indoor parking complex. Rockefeller Center was an important employer during the Great Depression — its construction provided 75,000 jobs during the early 1930s. Built with a facade of Indiana limestone, Rockefeller Center reflects the Art Deco style of elegance without ornamentation.

Participants on the Rockefeller Center Tour will come to discover the extensive artwork and architectural nuances throughout this 14 building complex, as well as understand the important innovations that made Rockefeller Center revolutionary when it was built in the 1930s.”

From the Rockefeller Center website:

Join us for a look into the history and artistry of Rockefeller Center. Your tour touches upon great works of art and architecture as an historian will guide you through the Center’s buildings and gardens. Follow along with a headset enjoying a closed circuit connection. Tours are hourly beginning at 10AM each morning, 7 days a week.

You can order tickets here for $15/ each.

You can also visit The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City – but that’s another blog for another day!




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