Leo Amino, “Transfigured,” 1950. Resin with mixed materials. The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Leo Amino (b. 1911 Taiwan, Japan – d. 1989 New York, NY)
Leo Amino immigrated to the US from Japan in 1929. Briefly in 1937, he studied wood carving with Chaim Gross, and during WWII served as a translator in the US Navy. The war effort spurred innovations in new materials like resins, which Amino realized held exciting possibilities for artmaking. He produced sculptures in wood as well as in the industrial, quintessentially modern medium of plastics. His resin sculptures predated by more than two decades the movements most commonly associated with the medium, such as the Minimalist “L.A. Look” of the 1960s-70s, which is often presented in contrast to the Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s-50s. Amino carried the educational and artistic ethos of BMC throughout his artistic career, as demonstrated by his commitment to teaching sculpture at Cooper Union for twenty-five years.
Leo Amino at BMC