Amy Ellingson’s work has been exhibited nationally and in Tokyo, Japan. She is the recipient of the Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship and the Artadia Grant to Individual Artists and has been awarded fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Group exhibitions include Unfamiliar Again: Contemporary Women Abstractionists at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University; Bay Area Now 3 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; Neo Mod: Recent Northern California Abstraction at the Crocker Art Museum; and Nineteen Going on Twenty: Recent Acquisitions from the Collection at The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu. Her work is held in various public and corporate collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Crocker Art Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. Ellingson’s paintings have been reviewed in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, NYArts Magazine, and Art issues. She received a B.A. in Studio Art from Scripps College and an M.F.A. from CalArts. Her public commission, Untitled (Large Variation), is an 1100 square foot ceramic mosaic mural. It is a permanent installation on view in Terminal 3 at the San Francisco International Airport. Ellingson was Associate Professor of Art at the San Francisco Art Institute from 2000 to 2011 and has served on the Board of Directors at Root Division, a San Francisco nonprofit arts organization, since 2011. She lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
My work exaggerates the dichotomy between lightning-fast digital rendering processes and traditional oil and encaustic painting techniques. All of my imagery, whether geometrically intact or abstracted and chaotic, comprises a vocabulary of very simple forms that are digitally manipulated. The paintings consist of many interrelated layers of repeating geometric forms—straight lines and arcs, primarily—that I compose on the computer. I replicate these basic elements into an increasingly complex field that I then render in discreet layers of oil and encaustic paint. Using ephemeral, computer-generated images exclusively as my source material, I create paintings that physically assert themselves through the materiality and permanence of historical painting media. The translation from the evanescent (virtual) to the concrete (real) is paramount.
My interests lie in the practices of formal repetition, variation and mutation within limited serial networks. The works are created through a series of steps intended to conflate the systemic and the gestural. Working within a self-reflexive system—borrowing, distorting, manipulating, copying and pasting, re-contextualizing—I am able to create a personal language that is hermetic, yet flexible and mutable. Digital tools enable me to develop a vocabulary of forms that are used, grabbed, reused, and manipulated beyond recognition, resulting in a signature vernacular of marks that are predetermined via digital processing.