Heber City, b.1970

Alma Allen

Psychologically charged and compulsively expressive, Alma Allen’s works evoke a curiosity regarding the life of objects and the ways in which form and material can circumnavigate the utility of language. Known for his distillation of diverse organic references, the artist’s works simultaneously invite and resist classification.

Often realized in stone, wood, or bronze—materials hand-selected from quarries or foraged from landscapes in the area surrounding his studio—the works emit a mysterious and ineffable life force. These abstracted, biomorphic shapes feel talismanic not only in their atmospheric qualities but also by way of their playfulness: bronze sculptures appear impossibly malleable, even liquid; wood and stone grain patterns are accented to highlight their material history. Whichever medium Allen chooses, the works’ final forms and their particular outcrops and eccentricities seem as though they...

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Biography

Psychologically charged and compulsively expressive, Alma Allen’s works evoke a curiosity regarding the life of objects and the ways in which form and material can circumnavigate the utility of language. Known for his distillation of diverse organic references, the artist’s works simultaneously invite and resist classification.

Often realized in stone, wood, or bronze—materials hand-selected from quarries or foraged from landscapes in the area surrounding his studio—the works emit a mysterious and ineffable life force. These abstracted, biomorphic shapes feel talismanic not only in their atmospheric qualities but also by way of their playfulness: bronze sculptures appear impossibly malleable, even liquid; wood and stone grain patterns are accented to highlight their material history. Whichever medium Allen chooses, the works’ final forms and their particular outcrops and eccentricities seem as though they have been conjured by the artist during their making, born of a wordless conversation between sculptor and object.

The artist’s hybrid process encompasses preindustrial methods of hand-shaping and carving alongside advanced 21st-century technology. After repeatedly reworking finger-scale clay maquettes, Allen will employ, as needed, a self-built robotic device for translation into large-scale works, finished with an impeccable softness that belies their weight and density. A bronze foundry, constructed in the artist’s studio in Tepoztlán, Mexico, enables Allen to complete works onsite. This instinctive shaping of resistant material draws upon both the process-based conceits of Surrealist automatism and the formal inventiveness of Constantin Brancusi and Samuel Beckett.

Alma Allen participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial where he gained recognition and a wider discovery of his work. Recent group exhibitions include the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT. In Conversation: Alma Allen & J.B. Blunk, a two-person exhibition that began at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA (February 2018), traveled to the Nevada Museum of Art in Spring 2019.

Artworks

11

Not Yet Titled, 2020

Related Categories

21st Century Art / Abstract Sculpture / Abstraction / American Art / Art of the 2010s / Art of the 2020s / Atypical Forms and Shapes / Biomorphic Forms / Bronze / Contemporary American Art / Craftsmanship / Green Cantera Oaxaca / High Technology / Large Scale Installation/Sculpture / Marble / Materiality and Immateriality / Media Study / Process-Oriented / Sculpture / Stone / Walnut / Wood / Wooden Sculpture

Curriculum Vitae

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020

    “Alma Allen,” Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2019

    “Alma Allen,” Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2016

    “Alma Allen,” Blum & Poe, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    “Collective/Collectible,” Masa Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

  • 2018

    “In Conversation: Alma Allen & J.B. Blunk,” Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA

  • “Handheld,” organized by Elizabeth Essner, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT

Collections

  • Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA

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Curriculum Vitae

The artist CV shows the details after 2000s.
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Solo Exhibitions

  • 2020

    “Alma Allen,” Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2019

    “Alma Allen,” Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2016

    “Alma Allen,” Blum & Poe, New York, NY

  • “Alma Allen,” Shane Campbell Gallery (South Loop), Chicago, IL

  • 2015

    “Alma Allen,” Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2009

    “Alma Allen,” Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles, CA

  • “Hoodoos by Alma Allen,” Play Mountain, Tokyo, Japan

  • 2008

    “Sucking the Universe,” Anthony Greaney Gallery, Boston, MA

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    “Collective/Collectible,” Masa Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

  • 2018

    “In Conversation: Alma Allen & J.B. Blunk,” Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA

  • “Handheld,” organized by Elizabeth Essner, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT

  • 2017

    “HILL PEOPLE,” curated by Benjamin Godsill, Performance Ski, Aspen, CO

  • 2016

    “Gold Rush,” de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara, CA

  • “First Hand: Architects, Artists, and Designers from the L.J. Cella Collection,” Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA

  • 2015

    “Small Sculpture,” Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • 2012

    “Function Dysfunction: Alma Allen, Ani Kasten, Adam Silverman,” Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

  • 2010

    “Alma + Adam + Commune + This Show,” Heath Ceramics, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2005

    Pearce, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2004

    Pearce, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2003

    Pearce, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2002

    Pearce, Los Angeles, CA

Collections

  • Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA