Form, function, space and emptiness are the theme that pervades the work of Isamu Noguchi.
One of the great sculptors of the 20th century, Noguchi created designs for theaters, rooms, gardens and parks. He wanted to bring art and sculpture to the pieces he devised for everyday use. Noguchi studied medicine at Columbia University, but left medicine in favor of art, as a painter and sculptor. In 1927, he went to Europe on a Guggenheim fellowship. In Paris, he was apprenticed to Constantin Brancusi, whose examinations of form and space echoed the art and architecture Noguchi as a child in Japan.
Upon his return to America, Noguchi befriended choreographer Martha Graham and Buckminster Fuller. Graham and Fuller were a source of inspiration for Noguchi in the creation of new works like the sets for Graham's dance programs. In 1939, he designed a dining table for A. Congers Goodyear, the president of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The table's sinuous form foreshadowed the coffee table Noguchi’s 1944 design for Herman Miller and his work throughout 1940's.