Reginald Case (December 23, 1937 – April 24, 2009) was an American performer who made American Folk Art collages and Hollywood iconographic mixed-media assemblages and sculptures.
Case was born in Watertown, New York, and graduated from Watertown High School in 1955. He studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, San Francisco State University and Boston University, where he earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. He studied later Peter Busa at SUNY Buffalo and Robert Gwathmey and Walter Tandy Murch at Boston University. Upon completing his graduate studies in Boston, he taught at Phillips Exeter Academy and Norfolk State College (now Norfolk State University).
During this time, he completed a series of large still-life paintings which outstretched the imagery of Giorgio Morandi by elongating vessels and vases, transforming them into "architectonic towers". The tackle quality of the collage textures led him to renounce these paintings every single one and aim to collage as his next-door form of expression. The Holocaust was a prevalent theme in Case’s at the forefront pieces – in these modest but masterfully executed and consistent works, Case has been compared to something of a graphic Edgar Allan Poe or Pier Paulo Pasolini by Ronald A. Kuchta, Director of the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY.
Case's 1980's-90's play in assemblage, collage and construction fused yet to be influences in film, photography, and architecture. Beginning in the space of Rudolph Valentino from the 1920s through the 1930s in the same way as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Buck Rogers, and into the 1940s in the same way as Betty Grable and Humphrey Bogart, Case culminated this body of feint with a series of objects that focused on Marilyn Monroe.
Case continued subsequently contemporary works of Barbie and Madonna that reflected the glamour of an earlier era. In these there is an iconography of twentieth-century vigor that explores the imagery at the roots of American archives and popular culture. In a recent series conmsisting of four groups of photo collage prints, Case has depicted Marilyn Monroe in variations called "MARILYN MONEY". This series substitutes her image for American currency and are notated once quotations by her reflecting on her life, e.g. "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul."
Additional works by Case have made diagonal references to 9/11 in his series of Gouache Heads, "365 Views of Delray Beach" and the series of New York City altered painted photographs. Each of these series cast a shadow upon the matter as seen from a set against of TV or Photographic News images.
His ham it up was shown for many years at the Allan Stone Gallery, NYC, along gone the paintings of Richard Estes and Wayne Thiebaud. He has in addition to had major museum exhibitions of his act out shown at the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY; Reading Museum, Reading, PA; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA. Case’s feign is in addition to represented in many private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; The British Museum, London; The Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Jewish Museum, NYC; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and others. An exhibition showing many of the iconic Collages & Assemblages by Case will be at The Butler Institute of American Art from October 12 through December 31, 2008. Louis A. Zona, Director of the Butler Institute of American Art, writes in the exhibition catalog, " The play a role of Reg Case recalls the genius of Joseph Cornell and salutes as well the singular vision of Robert Rauschenberg. Like Warhol, he both pays rave review to such pop culture icons as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Madonna and simultaneously causes us to reflect upon the superficialality of much of what we support precious."