The Phillips Collection announces a major centennial acquisition: Daniel Canogar's Amalgama Phillips

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The Phillips Collection announces a major centennial acquisition: Daniel Canogar's Amalgama Phillips
Daniel Canogar’s mock-up of Amalgama Phillips. Courtesy of The Phillips Collection.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Phillips Collection has announced a new major acquisition undertaken during its centennial year: a generative digital piece Amalgama Phillips by Madrid-based artist Daniel Canogar that uses images of artworks from the museum’s permanent collection to create a seamless blend of ever-changing, fluidly morphing imagery. The work was created in celebration of the museum’s 100th anniversary and purchased through The Dreier Fund for Acquisitions.

The artwork will be presented as the Phillips’s second digital Intersections project, premiering on the Phillips’s YouTube channel (September 8, 2021), followed by a site-specific projection (September 14, 2021–January 2, 2022) at the museum and occupying the three-story high spiral staircase in the Goh Annex.

“The Phillips Collection is pleased to acquire during our 100th anniversary an artwork that so innovatively celebrates our collection, while also speaking to the ways that technology is impacting the art world,” notes Vradenburg Director and CEO Dorothy Kosinski.

Whether experienced in-person or online, the images of the artworks melt into a rich abstract animation. The piece is constantly evolving, producing new visual configurations driven by an algorithm. The word Amalgama, or amalgam in English, refers to the process of blending or melting visuals.

Conceptually, Amalgama Phillips explores how digital media is shifting our experience and understanding of art and the history of art. The swirling visual effects that have transformed the original artworks parallel our ever-changing reality and the ceaseless flow of information on social media that has also altered how artworks are consumed.

“All of the Phillips’s Intersections projects connect the art of the past with the art of today. The digital base of Canogar’s work, especially as we have all been living mostly online for over a year, makes this particular exhibition incredibly timely and compelling,” explains Vesela Sretenović, Cross-departmental Director for Contemporary Art, Innovation, and Partnerships.

Born to a Spanish father and an American mother, Daniel Canogar (b. 1964, Madrid, Spain; lives and works in Madrid, Spain) received a master’s degree from New York University in 1990, but soon after shifted his interest toward projected image, installations, and public art. Canogar’s public artworks include Constellations, the largest photo-mosaic in Europe created for two pedestrian bridges in MRío Park (Madrid, 2010), and Asalto, a series of video-projections presented on various emblematic monuments, including the Arcos de Lapa (Rio de Janeiro, 2009), the Puerta de Alcalá (Madrid, 2009); the church of San Pietro in Montorio (Rome, 2009), and Storming Times Square (New York City, 2014). He has exhibited at Reina Sofia Contemporary Art Museum, Madrid; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio; Borusan Contemporary Museum, Istanbul; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and Palacio Velázquez, Madrid, among others.

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