Los Angeles-based Scoli Acosta transforms images and objects gleaned from daily life, literature, mass culture, and dreams—his own and those of other people. Acosta is part of a lineage of artists who embraced the found object, from the Surrealists to later funk and assemblage artists of the 1960s, but his practice emphasizes recycling and reclamation, actions born of the pressures and necessities of our contemporary moment. Working in a range of mediums—painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and performance, all of which may be incorporated into elaborate installations—Acosta’s work is characterized by what he has described as an “aesthetics of resourcefulness.” The artist favors humble materials, economic gestures, and transparency with respect to craft. His installations emerge as poetic constellations that seem to diagram his research and production processes, as well as the urban landscape he inhabits.
Acosta’s solo presentation at MCASD will feature a series of the artist’s Pentagonal Monochromes, or tambourines, which are composed of canvas stretched over handmade stretcher bars, surrounded by a ring of jingles made from flattened bottle caps. Moving beyond the “specific object” of the 1960s, which were neither paintings, nor sculptures, but something in between, Acosta’s tambourines are at once paintings and functional objects, diverting the legacy of modernist painting to the realm of the everyday, the hand-held, and the percussive. The artist has also created an oversized pentagonal tambourine scaled to the height of his body, which he has employed in a performance. In a related body of work, Acosta attaches floatation devices (repurposed water bottles) to the outer edges of large, rectangular paintings, which he floats into the ocean and later hangs on the wall. He often crafts his own canvases, stretching canvas over frames found in thrift shops, repurposed to serve as stretcher bars.
Scoli Acosta was born in Los Angeles, where he continues to live and work. He spent the early 2000s on an extended residency in Paris, producing a series of projects inspired by the French writer Gérard de Nerval. Acosta has had solo exhibitions at LA><ART (2008) and at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena (2011). His work was featured in Made in L.A. 2012 organized by the Hammer Museum and LA><ART, and he was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, the Biennale de Montréal 2007, and LACMA’s Phantom Sightings, also 2007. He is represented by Galerie Laurent Godin in Paris.
Scoli Acosta: ELEMENTALISTHMUS is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.