Artist

Pablo Reinoso

Pablo Reinoso (b. 1955, Buenos Aires, Argentina) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the frontier between art and design. Reinoso learned carpentry at an early age from his grandfather, and uses a variety of organic materials in his work including wood, marble, slate and sand. In 1968, during a trip to Paris, he encountered the work of sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) and was influenced by the allegorical subjects and naturalism of his sculptures. In mid-1970s, Reinoso enrolled to study architecture at Universidad de Buenos Aires. In 1978, to escape the dictatorship following the military coup d’état in Argentina, Reinoso moved to Paris. Later the same year, he won a scholarship to study marble sculpting in Carrara, Tuscany.

 

In 1981, Reinoso began a series entitled Paysages d’eau (Landscapes of water). The marble works were carved in such a way as to give the appearance of water. This series was exhibited at the XII Paris Biennale, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 1982. In the mid-1990s, Reinoso began making his ‘breathing sculptures’ from parachute silk. These minimalist, translucent sculptures, dependent upon the movement of air, had an ephemeral presence which Reinoso likened to mortality. In 2002, his site-specific installation ‘Ashes to Ashes’ was shown at Casa de Américas, Madrid. A major work within his oeuvre, ‘Ashes to Ashes’ confirmed his preoccupation with the elements: water, fire and air. The installation presented order versus chaos, a visual contradiction between an industrially manufactured chair and a broken cascade of wooden floorboards; the duality recalled an essay written by Reinoso’s father titled ‘Rupture et ouverture’ (‘Breaking and opening’).

 

Reinoso continued to explore the relationship between function and sculpture in his Thonet series, begun in 2004. The iconic Thonet chair was first produced in 1859 and 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 furniture. This light-hearted approach remained in his subsequent series, Spaghetti Bench and Garabatos (‘scribbles’), in which Reinoso adopted the similarly ubiquitous yet anonymous public bench. The series juxtaposes the downward, grounded action of sitting with the uplifting movement of centrifugal ribbons. The rhizomatic formations echo gnarled roots and tangled branches of trees, organic forms reminiscent of his earlier series Articulations (1970–80). The bench sculptures have been installed in public places, beside the River Thames in London, along the Quai Gillet in Lyon, and on the south terrace of the Elysée Palace in Paris. Reinoso’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; Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil.

 

Pablo Reinoso lives and works in Paris.

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