Spanning a wide range of materials including bronze, parota wood, various types of marble, obsidian and stalagmite, Allen's work retains a singularly unique energy and original aesthetic. From sinuously thin bronze shapes to magmatic and smooth marble outpourings, Allen's biomorphic forms seem to rise up effortlessly from the artist's chosen material. Allen's artistic trajectory has seen him progress from humble origins, selling hand-carved miniatures on the street in Soho, NY, to his breakthrough moment of recognition after his acclaimed presentation at the Whitney Biennial of 2014.
Largely self taught, there is a spontaneity and energy to Allen's work that seems to bear little connection to the artistic movements of this time. In fact they have more in common, formally and perhaps spiritually, with the vast expanses of territory and the monolithic natural formations that seem to have punctuated his life: Utah, where he grew up; Joshua Tree, California, where he lived for several years; and Tepoztlán, Mexico, where he currently has his studio, about 50 miles out from Mexico City. Rocks, branches and unspecified biomorphic entities that exude a kind of prehistoric energy dominate his shows, their size and mass undermined by their apparent levity and effortless presence.
Alma Allen (1970, Utah, USA) lives and works in Tepoztlán, Mexico.
Press release courtesy Mendes Wood DM.