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Exhibition of all new paintings by James Siena opens at Pace Gallery
Installation view of James Siena: Painting 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY January 11 – February 9, 2019. Photographed by Guy Ben-Ari, courtesy Pace Gallery © James Siena, courtesy Pace Gallery.


NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery presents an exhibition of all new paintings by James Siena, marking the gallery’s sixth solo exhibition by the artist since joining the gallery in 2004. The exhibition will debut Siena’s first works using acrylic paint on large format canvases, all created in 2018. James Siena: Painting will be on view from January 11 to February 9, 2019 at 537 West 24th Street. A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition with an essay by American poet, artist, and art critic Marjorie Welish.

The scale and medium of the new paintings mark a significant departure from Siena’s more intimate and intricate enamel on aluminum paintings, which the artist has been known for since the 1990s. The use of acrylic paint and stretched canvas as the support have introduced new levels of painterliness, physicality, and immediacy to his practice. Drawing together approximately 10 paintings ranging in size from 36” x 48” to 70” x 90”, the new pieces have evolved away from the object-ness quality of Siena’s earlier work yet maintain a consistency with his long-held focus on personal geometries and rule-based abstraction.

Best known for his unique process of creating complexly dense geometric abstractions, Siena’s practice is driven by predetermined, self-imposed sets of rules or “visual algorithms”. Since the 1990s, Siena’s use of enamel sign painting on aluminum supports has fostered a powerful precision and stark vibrancy within his work. The current exhibition reveals the artist breaking beyond those boundaries and exploring a parallel world of possibility, invention and clarity.

James Siena (b. 1957, Oceanside, California) is known for his production of complex, rule-based linear abstractions, which firmly situate his practice within the trajectory of modern American art. His work is often driven by self-imposed, predetermined sets of rules, or “visual algorithms,” which result in intensely concentrated, freehand geometric patterns. Although predominantly recognized for his vibrantly colored paintings and drawings, Siena works across a diverse range of media. Engaging in lithography, etching, woodcut, engraving, and sculpture, he articulates an ongoing investigation of technology and craft, biology and artifice.

Featured in over 100 solo and group exhibitions, Siena’s work has been included in traveling exhibitions such as The Return of the Cadavre Exquis (1993–95), which opened at the Drawing Center, New York, and traveled to Washington, D.C.; Santa Monica, California; St. Louis; and Paris. He was included in the Invitational Exhibition, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York (1999, 2000, 2015), as well as group shows at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (1998), and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006, 2012, 2013). He received his first major solo exhibition, drawing and painting, in 2003 at the San Francisco Art Institute/Walter Galleries, which traveled to the University of Akron, Ohio. He was selected the following year for the 2004 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, organized one-artist exhibitions of his work in 2010 and 2015.

Siena’s work is held in museum collections throughout the United States, including the Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others.





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