Slide Mantra by Isamu Noguchi

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301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Central Business District, Miami, Florida 33132, United States
Slide Mantra by Isamu Noguchi
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Slide Mantra by Isamu Noguchi

301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Central Business District, Miami, Florida 33132, United States

About

Bayfront Park
c. 1980–96
301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL
Open to Public

Slide Mantra is a massive 29-ton sculpture carved from Carrara marble by the late Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. This lyrical and playful work, sited in Miami’s Bayfront Park, is more than ten-feet tall and functions as a slide with steps up the back and a spiral descent. Stated Noguchi, “The sculpture is called ‘Slide Mantra’ meaning resonance. Up steps through a hole we slide down in a double helix.”

Noguchi designed Bayfront Park in 1986 and created Slide Mantra the same year to represent the United States at its art pavilion in the Venice Biennale. In this piece, appropriately sited in a city park, Noguchi wished to show his “long held belief that play could lead to a new appreciation of sculpture.” Slide Mantra was purchased in 1990 from the Noguchi Foundation, located in Long Island, New York.

Isamu Noguchi was born in California to a Japanese father and an American mother. Between 1906 and 1918, Noguchi lived in Japan, but returned to the United States in 1918 to continue his education. Between 1927 and 1937, Noguchi traveled first to Paris for two years where he worked as a studio assistant to Brancusi, then to China and Japan where he immersed himself in Asian culture, and finally to Mexico. In New York in the mid-1930’s, Noguchi established what would be life long working relationships with the philosopher Buckminster Fuller and the pioneer of modern dance, Martha Graham. During World War II, Noguchi spent six months at the Japanese Relocation Camp in Arizona.

Although he was primarily a sculptor, Noguchi worked in a number of spatial arts, including, gardens and playgrounds, public plazas, stage sets, murals, and furniture design with materials that included clay, wood, marble, stone, and paper. To imagery that owes its origins to the more organic aspects of surrealism (Jean Arp, Yves Tanguy) oguchi added a unique and quirky sense of Zen detachment that inspires contemplation.

Throughout his life and in many countries Noguchi was commissioned to create sculpture gardens which offered refuges for movement and meditation. There are major ones in Houston, Honolulu and Jerusalem. Noguchi died in 1988.

Location

301 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami Central Business District, Miami, Florida 33132, United States
Bayfront Park
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