The Unseen Professors
Leo Amino (1911–1989), Minoru Niizuma (1930–1998), John Pai (born 1937)
Published by Gregory R. Miller & Co..
Text by John Yau, Genji Amino, Arata Niizuma. Interview by Leyla Vural.
A reexamination of three underrecognized Asian American artists and their contributions to Minimalism and site-specific sculpture
This book focuses on the work of Leo Amino (1911–89), Minoru Niizuma (1930–98) and John Pai (born 1937), three Asian sculptors who were born in Taiwan, Japan and Korea, respectively, and immigrated to America, where they taught in prestigious art programs. Working in different materials and styles, each rigorously pursued their own trajectories and were never fully recognized by the art world or critics of the time, despite showing in prestigious venues such as the Whitney, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA.
This fully illustrated monograph highlights the accomplishments of these three sculptors and their contributions to Minimalist and site-specific sculpture, radically avant-garde works created alongside those of their more widely acclaimed peers such as Judd, Flavin and Serra. A major new text by curator and poet John Yau, who conceived an eponymous exhibition in 2021, provides context for these artists and the broader movement toward recognition for artists of color. Also included are texts by Genji Amino and Arata Niizuma, an interview conducted with John Pai by Leyla Yural, chronologies and biographies of the artists, and a broad selection of works from throughout their careers.