EXHIBITION THROUGH JUNE 2012
In 1976, as a young painter David Amico embraced an unstylized, abstract and demanding approach to painting and has been committed to this process ever since. He executes each abstract painting by never allowing himself to follow a particular technique or style so that each painting has its own unique composition and application of paint. Over his 40-year career, this non-serial pursuit has allowed him to explore painting in a most unrestrictive and innovative manner. This inventive engagement with painting can be experienced in the compositions and paint applications of his two most recent bodies of work, the Factory/Park Series, installed in his current exhibition at Ace.
Ace Gallery is the host of the first exhibition of Factory Series in the United States (the first exhibition of this series was in Singapore last year), an exhibition that will be combined with the newly created Park Series. The imagery found in both series is jointly inspired by the urban debris of Amico’s immediate environment: the Skid Row district of downtown Los Angeles. He transforms what has been discarded and considered unsightly into building blocks of beautiful contemplative spaces. Discarded cardboard, metal piping, broken concrete, shards of glass, graffiti, vandalism, and fabric scraps from the nearby garment factories – all these materials have participated in an unlikely transformation, inviting the viewer to share in what Doug Harvey has called “a zone of phenomenological flip-flop, where [the art is] neither one thing, nor the other, nor both, and not neither. Which is where paintings belong. The result is artwork that is unusually alive, that feeds information to the viewer in a flickering, almost cybernetic light, extending an invitation for the observer to partake in the continuity between the world, the artist, and his art.” (Doug Harvey, David Amico: Coloring Outside the Lines).
Amico has a relationship with these materials far beyond mere observation; he studies them in search of their quintessence. He then meticulously abstracts their qualities in paint, distorting the reality of the original subject. His precision in
creating texture is so thorough that several works such as Augustine (2009) and Window (2009) convey the illusion of a layered collage but were in fact executed through the process of detailed paint application. Beyond the masterful manipulation of his medium is a deliberate use of compositional decision-making that separates Amico from the fluid chaos of Abstract Expressionism.
Amico’s practice is an exploration in the nebulous space between art and life, blurring the lines between the junk-objects we pass unnoticed, and the art-objects we admire. No matter what the origin of the abandoned material, each has arrived in the same place – on the streets of Los Angeles – bringing into focus a visual- syntax, and ultimately democratizing the relationship between the discarded object, the art work, and the artist himself.
David Amico has established himself as one of Southern California’s most influential contemporary painters. Amico’s first major solo exhibition was held at P.S.1 in New York in 1976, and he has since exhibited in galleries in the United States, as well as Switzerland, Mexico, and China. It was for the 1976 P.S.1 exhibition he first adopted his unique unstylized practice, and he has not deviated from this methodology since.
David Amico was born in Rochester, New York in 1951. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.