Modern Design /03 October 2004

203

Leo Amino

untitled
USA, 1969
cast resin
22 w × 6 d × 11¼ h in (56 × 15 × 29 cm)

Leo Amino, a teacher at Black Mountain College in 1946 and 1950, was a pioneer in the use of resin as an artistic medium. He created his cast sculptures using colorless polyester resin with liquid aniline dye. Impressed signature and date: [LA 1969].

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $2,520

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Leo Amino 1911–1989

Leo Amino was born in Taiwan in 1911 and spent his childhood in Tokyo. He traveled to the United States in 1929 where he pursued a degree at a Junior College in San Mateo, California. Two years later, Amino enrolled in a liberal arts program at New York University, completing only one year before taking a job with a Japanese wood importing firm that specialized in distributing pre-cut Macassar ebony to manufacturers. Intrigued by the qualities of the wood, Amino took samples home and experimented with carving them. Recognizing his talent, Amino enrolled in the American Artists School in New York in 1937 where he briefly studied direct carving techniques under Chaim Gross.

Amino’s work was exhibited in the 1939 World’s Fair in New York and he had his first solo exhibition one year later. One of the first American artists to use plastic, Amino began experimenting with the material as early as the 1940s. Amino taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1947-1950 and at Cooper Union from 1952-1977. Throughout his long career, Amino’s works exhibited sculptural prowess, a mastery of form and material imbued with human emotion. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  

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