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Leo AminoAmerican, (1911–1989)
Leo Amino (1911-1989) born in Taiwan and grew up in Tokyo. In 1929, he immigrated to the United States. He studied at San Mateo Junior College in California and New York University. He remained in New York to work for a Japanese wood importing firm and took home ebony samples to carve. Although he had received no formal art training, his interest in sculpture grew rapidly and, in 1937, he studied briefly at the American Artists School with Chaim Gross, a leading proponent of direct carving.
Direct carving in wood or stone emphasizes properties of the material. The unique and distinctive patterns of veining, grain and color result in simplified sculptural forms and smooth geometrical outlines which harmonize with Amino's native sensibilities.
His work was exhibited at the 1939 World's Fair and he was given his first solo exhibition in 1940. Since then, he has shown almost continuously in commercial galleries and museums. In 1947 and 1950, he taught at the renowned Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
Amino taught at Cooper Union from 1952 until 1977. Leo Amino remained in New York until his death in 1989.
Leo Amino's work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. (contributed by Asheville Art Museum staff)
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