5. Peter Reginato

Peter Reginato (American, born 1945), Midnight and Morning Rain…waiting for Miro, 1984, enamel on steel, 93 x 58 x 41 inches, Gift of Steve Chase, 102-1994


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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 in 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 surface parallels the city’s grittiness.

 

He cuts biomorphic shapes–forms meant to suggest a living organisms–out of steel with a blowtorch and welds them together so that they appear to float in space. The artist 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. The artist once noted, “Essentially my work is joyous.” The title, Midnight and Morning Rain... waiting for Miró, refers to the Surrealist artist Joan Miró, known for creating biomorphic shapes in a variety of media.