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Allison Cortson

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Santa Monica, CA

Birth year

Lives in
Los Angeles, CA

Works in
Los Angeles, CA

CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), 2003, MFA
UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), 2001, BA

Representing galleries

figurative, mixed-media


My interests in the investigation of the known world through physics and biology are reflected in my practice. Currently, in my own work I deal with the representation of the figure through my series of Dust Paintings. For these portraits, I photograph the subject in their home. Then over a period of months I collect the dust from their home via their vacuum bags. Dust arrives in our homes as a remnant of our own existence and degeneration as it is up to 70% human skin. The painting is completed by rendering the subject in a realistic manner in oils and the rest of their environment is rendered solely out of the dust from their home. Their pets and any other living things are also included, as their particles are also contained within the dust.



Born in Santa Monica, California 12/01/1978

Lives and works in Los Angeles



2003       MFA in Art, California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, CA                                                                                                       

2001       BA in Art, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA


Solo Exhibitions 

2007       From Dust, The Happy Lion Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


2006       Collecting Dust, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany


2005       Dust Painting, The Happy Lion Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


2002       Interpretation of an Omen, Gallery D300, CalArts, Valencia, CA


Group Exhibitions 

2007       Dear Mr. Saltz, Pharmaka Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                Curators: York Chang, Karyl Newman


2006       25 Bold Moves, Venice, CA

                Cuators: Simon Watson, Craig Hensala of Scenic

                KLF/Strictly Painting, I-20 Gallery, New York, NY

                Campari, (This show was not sponsored by…), Park Projects, Eagle Rock, CA

                Cuator: Luciano Perna


2003       Fresh Coat, Black Dragon Society Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

                We’ve Moved, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA

                Transplant, Latch Gallery, Culver City, CA

                Curated: Ry Rocklen

                MFA Thesis Exhibition, Nodding Off, L-Shape Gallery, CalArts, Valencia, CA


2001       Senior Show, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA


2000       Scapes, 8t Floor Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

               Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

               Curator: Karen Higa, Curator for Japanese American National Museum


1999       The Female Experience, Disney Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


1998       Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

               Curator: Dr. Alexandre Melo, University of Lisbon


Reviews, Awards and Publications

2007    Frank, Peter, Art Pick, Elizabeth Tobias Dear Mr. Saltz, LA Weekley, June 2007

            Meyers, Holly, Around the Galleries: Dear Mr. Saltz, Los Angeles Time, June 2007


2006    Harper's Magazine, The Deception of Matter, featured in June 2006 Issue pg. 19

            Nys Dambrot, Shana, Review, Allison Cortson: Dust Painting, Flavorpill, Los Angeles, Issue 150 December


2001    Kay Nielsen Memorial Award for Drawing, Steam Drawings project, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

            Juror: James Welling, Professor of Art, UCLA


Recent Exhibits

Allison Cortson participated in these exhibits:

May, 2014 35th Anniversary of Venice Art Walk & Auctions
Venice Art Walk & Auctions
Aug, 2012 Against the Grain Charity Auction
Mark Moore Gallery
May, 2011 EMERGE...
Michael Rosenthal Gallery
May, 2010 Closing Reception, "Collapse Into a Particle"
Happy Lion
Mar, 2010 Allison Cortson: Collapse Into A Particle
Happy Lion
Click here to see all exhibits for Allison Cortson
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