Pablo Reinoso (b.1955, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the frontier between art and design. Reinoso, who at an early age was taught carpentry by his grandfather, uses various natural materials in his work such as wood, marble, slate and sand. In 1968, during a trip to Paris, Reinoso encountered the work of sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) and was inspired by Rodin’s allegorical subjects and naturalism of his sculptures. In the mid-1970s, Reinoso enrolled to study architecture at Universidad de Buenos Aires but, to escape the dictatorship that followed the military coup in 1976, moved to Paris in 1978. Later that year he won a scholarship to study marble sculpting in Carrara, Tuscany.
In 1981, Reinoso began a series of sculptures entitled Paysages d’eau (Landscapes of water). Made in marble, Reinoso carved fluid shapes to give the appearance of water and exhibited them in 1982 at the ‘XII Paris Biennale’, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. In the mid–1990s, Reinoso began making breathing sculptures from parachute silk that explored the relationship between function and art. These minimalist, translucent sculptures, dependent upon air movement, had an ephemeral presence that Reinoso likened to mortality. In 2002, his site-specific installation ‘Ashes to Ashes’, (2002) was shown at Casa de Américas, Madrid; significant within his oeuvre, ‘Ashes to Ashes’ confirmed Reinoso’s preoccupation with the elements of water, fire and air.
Reinoso continued to explore the relationship between function and art in his Thonet series, which he began in 2004. The series is based on the iconic chair, first produced by German-Austrian cabinet maker Michael Thonet in 1859, which was revolutionary in its simplicity of form and the functionality of its design. Reinoso’s humorous performance piece ‘Thoneteando’, (2006), demonstrated the irony of disassembling and disabling functional furniture. This light-hearted approach remained in Reninoso’s subsequent furniture-based series, Spaghetti Bench and Garabatos (‘scribbles’), in which he adapts the similarly ubiquitous yet anonymous public bench. These two series juxtapose the downward, grounded action of sitting with the uplifting movement of centrifugal ribbons. Reinsoso’s carved wood formations echo the gnarled roots and tangled branches of trees, organic forms reminiscent of his earlier series Articulations, (1970–80). In 2020, Waddington Custot, London hosted Reinoso’s first major solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, and the public installation of his Spaghetti Bench ‘Simple Talk’, (2017), on Bond Street in Mayfair, London. In 2022 Reinoso exhibited a series of work in an exhibition titled Overflows at the world renowned Château de Chambord. Overflows forms a comprehensive display of Reinoso’s sculptural practice in response to themes of nature, harmony and the ecosystem.
Reinoso’s bench sculptures have been installed in numerous public locations, including beside the River Thames in London, along the Quai Gillet in Lyon and on the south terrace of the Elysée Palace in Paris. The artist’s work is held in public collections worldwide, including Société des Amis du MNAM, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Fonds national d’art contemporain, Paris; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Argentina and Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil.
Pablo Reinoso is represented in the UK by Waddington Custot. He lives and works in Paris.
The Making of 'Still Tree'In the studio for the production of a major new work for Miami | 3 December 2019
This autumn, Waddington Custot celebrates the work of contemporary sculptor Pablo Reinoso with the launch of two Special Focus digital exhibitions and an installation of some of the artist’s most iconic works in the Cork St gallery space. These presentations, accessible both online and in person, seek to explore the Franco-Argentine artist’s ongoing interest in the contemporary interaction between humanity and the environment.Read more
Exhibitions and Art Fairs
While renowned sculptors often rise to prominence with large-scale – sometimes monumental – pieces, many also work on an altogether more human measure. This digital presentation includes a variety of intriguing small-scale sculptures, from pieces that deliberately engage with human proportions designed for domestic settings, to hand-made models and maquettes that respond to larger sculptures, often giving rise to new ones.
Many of the works have component parts such as handles, or curves and indentations, of which the size is recognisably intended to fit into the human hand or to create a dialogue with the body. These sculptures not only retain, but condense to great effect, the ambition, concept and scope of the artists’ larger scale work.