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Solo exhibition of works by Amy Ellingson opens at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
Variation: Cartas I - VI, 2014. Oil on linen on shaped panel, 27 x 20.75”. Courtesy of the Artist and Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art.

SAN JOSE, CA.- The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will open a solo exhibition, Amy Ellingson: Iterations & Assertions, on June 7, 2014 in the Main Gallery. This solo exhibition will focus on a large-scale diptych by Amy Ellingson, a site-specific 40-foot long mural, and a three-dimensional sculptural translation of the diptych. Based in San Francisco, Ellingson’s complicated process involves borrowing, distorting, manipulating and re-contextualizing simple, basic forms in order to create a complex field of information. Ellingson states of her work:

"My interests lie in the practices of formal repetition, variation and mutation within limited serial networks."

Ellingson’s paintings and works on paper explore the dichotomy between the lightning-fast process of digital technology and the more labor-intensive method of traditional painting and drawing. All of her paintings are initially created on a computer. She begins with a vocabulary of fundamental forms, which she then digitally manipulates and distorts to create complex fields of painted imagery. Currently, she has begun to experiment with ideas that expand her methodologies, introducing elements and processes that are more unexpected, uncontrolled, and not exclusively pre-determined by digital sketches, resulting in a more fluid, back-and-forth process between digital and traditional renderings.

For this exhibition, Ellingson’s two large-scale oil and encaustic paintings, which visually mirror one another, will be installed side by side, spanning a total of 28 feet. The two panels set the tone for a backward/forward, upside-down/inside-out experience of perception. Ellingson will execute a site-specific mural on the opposite wall of the gallery that will extend nearly 40 feet. The mural is conceived as a “wireframe” interpretation of the imagery in the paintings. Rendered in subtle tones of grey, the composition is compressed and convoluted. Ellingson’s sculptural translation of her paintings, comprised of encaustic castings, reflect raw imaginings that, Ellingson says resemble “artifacts, or debris, liberated from the vertical plane.”

Amy Ellingson exhibits her work nationally and she is represented in various public and corporate collections, including the Crocker Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the San Jose Museum of Art, The Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, and the U.S. Embassies in Tunisia and Algeria. She has been awarded fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. In 2009 she was awarded a Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship and in 1999 she received an Artadia Grant to Individual Artists. Ellingson received a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College and an MFA from CalArts. She was Associate Professor of Art at the San Francisco Art Institute from 2000-2011.

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