Art: Eastern Yeast

Because European art is in the doldrums, Americans are turning increasingly to the art of the East, for both diversion and inspiration. In the past three months, Manhattan has seen no less than 16 exhibitions of Oriental art. Last week Manhattan gallerygoers crowded two shows that uniquely bridged East and West.

Both were important sculpture exhibitions, and both were by Japanese-Americans: Isamu Noguchi and Ruth Asawa.

Noguchi, 50, has long been recognized as a leading U.S. sculptor. Born in California, he spent his grammar-school years in Japan, his high-school years in the U.S.

and his most fruitful years of study under Abstract Sculptor...

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