Published by Radius Books/Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Edited with text by Genji Amino. Text by Aruna D'Souza, Lucy Lippard, Neferti Tadiar, Mary Whitten, Karen Yamashita.
The first catalog on the Japanese American artist Leo Amino (1911–89), this book intervenes in both histories of American sculpture and in histories of Asian American art. Amino's work provokes an exciting reconsideration of abstraction in the works of artists of color. Like fellow experimentalists Josef Albers and Ad Reinhardt, Amino was initially recognized by the cooperative Artists’s Gallery, where he received his first solo exhibition in 1940. Disillusioned with both Japanese and American nationalist traditions after World War II, Amino found freedom among the exiles and refugees of Black Mountain College. His early works in wood and wire feature forms unfolding within forms. In 1945 Amino became the first American artist to use cast plastics, creating small, beautiful “refractional” sculptures that articulate light and color through exquisite transparent and translucent abstract compositions. An extensive selection of images from Amino's 2020 show at David Zwirner accompanies the text, as well as archival images from Amino’s midcentury group shows at the Whitney and other museums, and previously unseen archival photographs of the artist and his works of the 1940s and ’50s at the Sculpture Center, where he exhibited for several decades. The volume is edited and written by the artist's grandson, art historian Genji Amino, with additional texts by Aruna D'Souza, Lucy Lippard, Neferti Tadiar, Mary Whitten and Karen Yamashita.