Best of friends
An illustrated biography recounting the friendship between Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi, two exceptional and important figures of 20th-century art and architecture.
Best of Friends is an informal, close-up biography of the friendship between Buckminster Fuller (1895—1983) and Isamu Noguchi (1904—1988). Author Shoji Sadao, who was a friend and business partner to both, chronicles the deep and abiding respect, affection, and support they had for one other. Fuller’s development of his Dymaxion Map, Geodesic geometry, and the Dymaxion Car are discussed in detail as are Noguchi’s multi-faceted career as sculptor, landscape architect, industrial designer, and dance set designer, an artist without borders who challenged the artificial opposition between the fine and applied arts. Sadao’s role as partner to both offered him privileged access to details unavailable to others.
Influences on their work are noted, significant projects are described and illustrated, and pertinent quotes are cited, all contributing to a warm and intimate illustrated narrative that documents the exceptional relationship between these two great twentieth-century artists.
Shoji Sadao is an architect who collaborated with both R. Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi on many major projects. He met Fuller while studying architecture at Cornell University, and Fuller introduced him to Noguchi. Sadao began working with Fuller in 1954, and in 1965 formed Fuller and Sadao, P.C., whose first project was the large geodesic dome for the U.S. Pavilion at EXPO 67 in Montreal. Sadao began working with Noguchi on garden and landscape projects in the 1960s, and in 1971 formed Noguchi Fountain and Plaza, Inc., which completed the sculptor’s Philip A. Hart Plaza and Horace E. Dodge and Son Memorial fountain in Detroit. In addition to collaborating with Noguchi on public sculpture and garden projects, Sadao worked closely with the artist on the production and distribution of Akari, and on the design, construction and installation of the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City, New York. He was Executive Director of the Isamu Noguchi foundation, Inc. from 1991 to 2003.