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Alma Allen employs a wide variety of production techniques—from hand-carving to computer-assisted fabrication—to produce sculptures that at first seem formally simple but which are remarkably complex and beguiling. The artworks on view in the 2014 Biennial were produced, like much of his work, through an improvisatory method. Allen begins with the idea of a form; while he works toward that ideal, however, his process is often waylaid by breaks, fissures, and other unpredictable events that occur in the materials. Responding to these unplanned contingencies, he continues to sculpt until a final form emerges—most likely considerably different from what he originally envisioned.
Self-taught and working largely independently of any recognized art movement, Allen has nevertheless gained attention from the art world due to his impeccable sense of material and form. Although each of his pieces may resemble a touchstone of modernism, such as the iconic abstractions of Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957), ultimately Allen’s sculptures possess a highly personal yet mysterious allure all their own.
Alma Allen’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.
Academy Records and Matt Hanner
Ei Arakawa and Carissa Rodriguez
Robert Ashley and Alex Waterman
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna
Paravel, and Sensory Ethnography Lab
Critical Practices Inc.
Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst
Radamés “Juni” Figueroa
Gaylen Gerber with David Hammons,
Sherrie Levine, and Trevor Shimizu
Tony Greene curated by Richard
Hawkins and Catherine Opie
Yve Laris Cohen
My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon
and Alexandro Segade)
Sara Greenberger Rafferty
Steve Reinke with Jessie Mott
Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan
Charline von Heyl
David Foster Wallace