It is a homecoming of sorts for the veteran arts administrator, who was previously based in the neighborhood from 2003 to 2007, when he served as deputy director of PS1 (as it was then called).
“The museum’s commitment to the fullness and multi-disciplinary aspects of Noguchi’s vision, to his pacifism and his championing of workers rights and racial equality, to the City of New York, and to the international cultural creative community of which Isamu Noguchi was such an integral part is absolutely inspiring,” Littman said in a statement released to press.
Littman oversaw a sleek $11 million renovation and expansion of the Drawing Center that opened in 2012 and curated a number of shows at the institution, including solo outings for Leon Golub and Ferran Adrià (of the famed and late-lamented elBulli restaurant in Spain). At the Noguchi, he takes the place of Jenny Dixon, who announced her retirement in June, after 14 years at the museum, one of the city’s true gems.
Prior to joining PS1, Littman was co-director of Dieu Donné, which was then located in SoHo, and associate director of UrbanGlass, in Downtown Brooklyn.
In other Noguchi-related news, there is currently a robust debate going on about changes that have been proposed by the owners of the Gordon Bunshaft–designed 140 Broadway in Lower Manhattan to the building’s plaza, which features a glorious red Noguchi cube, balanced nimbly on its side, which critic Alexandra Lange has called “the brooch on the dark, glittering dress” of the building.