5. Peter Reginato

Peter Reginato, Midnight and Morning Rain... waiting for Miro, 1984

Painted steel, gift of Steve Chase, © Peter Reginato


Audio Transcript

Reginato’s jubilantly colorful sculptures recall the lyricism of early twentieth-century modernism and the cartoon-like forms of the pop era.

Yet this sculpture is also representative of the expressive, gestural turn in American painting and sculpture of the 1980s. Originally trained as a painter, the artist’s sculptures have the spirit of riotous brushstrokes.

The color handling reflects Reginato’s creative development within New York City’s artistic loft culture of the 1970s, while the imperfect surfaces parallel the city’s grittiness.

He cuts biomorphic shapes–forms meant to suggest a living organism–out of steel with a blowtorch and welds them together so that they appear to float in space. He expresses the spontaneity of drawing in a three-dimensional form. He then paints on the steel shapes with bright colors to create a sense of vibrant energy. He once noted, “Essentially my work is joyous.” The title refers to Joan Miró, the Surrealist artist known for creating biomorphic shapes in a variety of media.