‘Before I met you in 1929 I had already spent time with Brancusi in 1927 and what an extraordinary thing it is that I should have been passed on from Brancusi because I think that I would not have been prepared perhaps if it wasn’t for Brancusi. If it wasn’t in a sense from my revolt against Brancusi – when I met you I was doing heads as you remember – and it was a kind of revolt against the pure abstract aesthetics which he represented. For me the idea of an aesthetic divorced from life was wrong. At that time I thought it was wrong. Your ideas were an abstraction which I could accept as being part of life and useful. When I’m involved sometimes with art which is useful like this thing here for instance [an Octetra], which is for children to play in, in fact it comes from you. Many things I do are influenced by you; many things I do you might say are influenced by Brancusi. So I’m always being torn from opposite ends of being in revolt against one and finding support of the opposite. I gyrate between today, yesterday and tomorrow – between Japan and New York’.
Isamu Noguchi conversing with Buckminster Fuller, from a Michael Blackwood’s videotape filmed in Spoleto, Italy, June 1967