Alma Allen, Installation view at Blum & Poe, New York, 2016

Alma Allen

Alma Allen

July 20 – August 17, 2019
Los Angeles

Alma Allen

September 14 – October 29, 2016
New York

Alma Allen

January 10 – February 28, 2015
Los Angeles

Biography

Alma Allen (b. 1970, Heber City, UT) is a self-taught artist who began his practice by hand carving salvaged materials into unique small objects. Allen moved to New York in his early twenties and sold the miniature carvings on the street in SoHo, before catching the attention of designers nearby. After almost a decade in New York, Allen relocated to Los Angeles where he began designing furniture and creating large-scale sculptures. After repeated injury from obsessive over-carving left Allen unable to use his hands for extended periods, the artist built a robotic system out of spare assembly line parts and developed its proprietary software as a mechanized extension of hand-carving. Primarily constructed in stone, wood, and bronze, Allen’s sculptures are reminiscent of those by Constantin Brancusi and Isamu Noguchi, reflecting their ardor for experimentation, expressiveness, and originality. Allen’s process is organic and oftentimes the material itself dictates the final form—whether it is anthropomorphic or non-representational.

Alma Allen participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial where he gained recognition and a wider discovery of his work. He had his first solo exhibition at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in January 2015 and later at Blum & Poe, New York in September 2016.

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. This exhibition staged an encounter between two artists who never met but whose work shares a deep affinity. The art of Alma Allen and J.B. Blunk blur the line between design and sculpture, with both artists creating evocative organic work from natural materials. 

Selected Works

News

Artforum: Alma Allen

11/01/2019

Wallpaper: Alma Allen & JB Blunk

02/04/2018

Salad for President: Alma and Su's Cilantro Salad

07/01/2016

Artforum: Alma Allen at Blum & Poe Los Angeles

01/19/2015

Los Angeles Times: Alma Allen’s Abstract Sculptures Channel Nature’s Power at Blum & Poe

01/16/2015

T Magazine: Diamond in the Rough

04/11/2014

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