October 2017

Center: Amy Ellingson, Variation: purple (dawn) Left and Right: Mel Prest

Center: Amy Ellingson, Variation: purple (dawn)
Left and Right: Mel Prest

About Abstraction: Bay Area Women Painters

Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts
September 24 - December 17, 2017

Political conversations have turned a renewed spotlight on women and their power and influence on every corner of society, including the arts. In the spirit of continued discovery, About Abstraction: Bay Area Women Painters celebrates 16 Bay Area women artists, emerging and established, who have worked in abstraction for years. There is no monolithic visual definition of abstraction, and this show provides a platform for a breadth of work that features precise, powerful lines, as well as gestural patterns.

While Bay Area art history is rooted in figurative art, the past few decades show us that abstract art is flourishing. The work in About Abstraction suggests a kinship with the Abstract Expressionist movement of 1940s SoHo and San Francisco, and illustrates the enduring vitality and power of nonrepresentational art for well over a century. 

Participating Artists:

Lorene Anderson, Eva Bovenzi, Donna Brookman, Heather Day, Amy Ellingson, Linda Geary, Rebekah Goldstein, Emanuela Harris-Sintamarian, Danielle Lawrence, Naomie Kremer, Michelle Mansour, Alicia McCarthy, Mel Prest, Cornelia Schulz, Michele Théberge, Canan Tolon

Click here to read a review by Barbara Morris of Square Cylinder.  

September 2017

Unfamiliar Again: Contemporary Women Abstractionists

I had the pleasure of meeting with several Tulane University student journalists while installing my work at the Newcomb Art Museum.  Click here to read the article by Lily Milwit in the Tulane Hullabaloo.  

High Tech Meets Abstract Art, by Mary Cross
Tulane University News Feature

I am very pleased to have begun working with Robischon Gallery in Denver, Colorado.  Robischon has included several of my works in the Fall 2017 exhibition, Concatenation, and we have scheduled a solo exhibition for 2018.  Stay tuned!  


August 2017

It's Auction Season!  

I am proud to support several Bay Area institutions with donations to their fundraising auctions.  If you want to score a small piece for your collection, and help raise funds for a terrific institution at the same time, attend one of these super-fun events.  

August 2017

I am thrilled to have my work included in a wonderful exhibition, curated by Monica Ramirez-Montagut, at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University.  I will be in New Orleans for the opening reception on September 6. 


Rachel Beach, Morgan Blair, Amy Ellingson, Brittany Nelson, Alyse Rosner, Barbara Takenanga, Anne Vieux

Hailing from across the United States, the artists in this exhibition explore new ways of abstraction based on experimental, process-oriented methods. Intended to defamiliarize common imagery, their works preclude figurative recognition or easy comprehension.

Their methods are nuanced, time-intensive, and often drawn from unlikely sources such as “DIY” videos on YouTube, Photoshop errors, digital distortions, smart phone apps, and manipulated or synthetic materials such as scanned iridescent paper or faux-suede finishes.

By devoting themselves to process, these established, mid-career, and emerging artists experience revelation in the deliberate progression of steps of creative expression. Such discovery remains elusive for viewers, however, as the artists encourage inquiry rather than providing immediate answers.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jennifer Wooster (NC ’91), Don Peters (A&S ’81), Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, Ms. Valerie A. Besthoff, and the Newcomb Art Museum advisory board.

August 24 – December 23, 2017

Public opening reception September 6 at 6:30pm

Members reception September 6 at 5:30pm

August 2017

Robischon Gallery will present my work in Booth E27 at the 2017 Seattle Art Fair, August 3 - 6, 2017 | CenturyLink Field Event Center (WaMu Theater), Seattle

For more information about the fair, click here.


June 2017

Summer Exhibitions

My work will be included in several group exhibitions this summer.  More information coming soon!


Detritus, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
San, Jose, CA (June 25-September 10)


Unfamiliar Again: Contemporary Women Abstractionists, Newcomb Art Museum of
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
(August 24-December 23)


About Abstraction: Bay Area Women Painters, Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA (September 24-December 17)


April 2017-July 2017

Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900 at SFMOMA

I am very pleased to announce that 50 Variations, my installation of fifty gouache works on paper, is currently on view at SFMOMA.  based on a skeletal or ‘wire-frame’ version of the forms that comprise the vernacular of my paintings. Produced in groups of ten, each group is relative to the previous, yet involves an increase in the manipulation and repetition of particular elements, emphasis on certain features and the preservation of formal details. Installed in a grid, they are meant to suggest a trickle-down effect of information—degrading, mutating and rebuilding over time.

January 2017

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2017

I am very pleased to be included in Squarecylinder's Best of 2016 list.  

Variation: white (everything), 2016

Variation: white (everything), 2016

Wither painting? For decades pundits have announced its demise — wrongly. Yet ghosts of past masters can be seen haunting art fairs. Those belonging to certain individuals, however, continue to animate discussion and actual art production. One of them is Jackson Pollock. I imagine him whispering in Amy Ellingson’s ear: “Use a computer.” This she does, creating hybrid shapes which she archives in a library of recursive forms that, when hand-painted and arrayed in layers, dazzle and disorient, recalling things you know (or think you know) without ever establishing recognition. Stare long enough at these intensely tactile, color-saturated paintings and you’ll feel fresh neural pathways being formed; they are the byproducts of a labor-intensive, digital/analog process that effectively moves the century-old idea of nonobjective painting into the digital future, where obsession and distraction play tug-o-war, and where vestiges of the physical world and artifacts of the virtual seamlessly intermingle.
— David M. Roth

I am happy to start the year with two group exhibitions:  

Untitled, San Francisco, January 13-15

I will have a new piece in the Artadia booth at the Untitled fair in San Francisco. This is a special opportunity for two reasons:  first, Artadia was founded in San Francisco, and I was lucky to be among the very first group of Awardees in 1999.  Artadia's support, so long ago, made such a difference in my life and career, and I will always be grateful for this terrific organization.  Since then, Artadia has expanded to Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles and New York, providing unrestricted financial awards and career support to visual artists.

Second, 2017 is Untitled's first year in San Francisco! 


The inaugural edition of Untitled, San Francisco will take place at the historic Pier 70 in the Dogpatch neighborhood, January 13 – 15, 2017.

Carta I-VI, 2014

Carta I-VI, 2014

Spectral Hues: artists + color

Palo Alto Art Center, January 21-April 9
Reception: Friday, January 27, 7-10 PM
Artist Panel: Sunday, March 5, 2 PM

Artists exhibiting in Spectral Hues: artists + color include: Ann Appleby, Leo Bersamina, Omar Chacon, Freddy Chandra, Amy Ellingson, Eden V. Evans, Kristin Farr, Anoka Faruqee, Marguerite Fletcher, Stephen Giannetti, Mike Henderson, Karrie Hovey, Henry Jackson, Mitchell Johnson, Amy Kaufman, Keira Kotler, Richard Mayhew, Ron Nagle, Ruth Pastine, Mel Prest, Ken Price, Meghann Riepenhoff, Tamra Seal, Jenny Sharaf, Lisa Solomon, Victoria Wagner, and Nancy White.

Forty-five years ago the Palo Alto Art Center opened its doors with an exhibition exploring the conceptual use of color by Bay Area artists. As a continuation of the Art Center’s year-long celebration of its still vibrant service to the Palo Alto community, Spectral Hues examines light and color in the work of today’s Bay Area artists by featuring a selection of works that explore the presence, or lack, of color along with the optical and emotional influence of color on the viewer, and the interaction of light and color. I am very pleased to be included in this exhibition, curated by Sharon Bliss, especially since I'll be in the company of so many artists that I know and admire.

September 2016

Advance press for Chopping Wood on the Astral Plane

I recently had the pleasure of a studio visit with David M. Roth of Squarecylinder, just as I was finishing work on new paintings for my October exhibition with Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art at Minnesota Street Project.  Click here to read full article. 

Amy Ellingson, Variation: black (dark night), 2016

Amy Ellingson, Variation: black (dark night), 2016

Many artists talk about “interrogating” art history to arrive at some kind of grand synthesis; Ellingson seems to have actually pulled it off. Her works reach back to Cubism (in how they display multiple views of similar objects) and forward to the postmodernist notion that truth can only be approximated through rigorous acts of triangulation. In between those poles, her painting references Abstract Expressionism and its many offshoots, yet skirts direct comparisons to specific artists, historic or current. As such, Ellingson occupies that most desirable of zones: sui generis.
— David M. Roth

September 2016
Coming soon! 
Solo exhibition

Chopping Wood on the Astral Plane

Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art

Minnesota Street Project, October 1 - 29, 2016

Exhibition: October 1–October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 1, 6:00pm–8:00pm
Panel Discussion: Saturday, October 15, 4:00pm
(with Cathy Kimball, Charlotte Eyerman and Amy Ellingson)
Closing Reception: Saturday, October 29, 4:00pm–6:00pm 

Map & Visitor Information

August 2016
Read my interview with Mary Burger of Articiple here.  We discuss my recent work as well as my forthcoming exhibition with Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art at Minnesota Street Project. 

I like your phrase, ‘ tyranny of technological precision’. Yes, computers and the graphic design and photo editing programs I use have their own algorithmic perfection, but I would argue that it is somehow lacking, at least in terms of human esthetic judgement...we are still physical beings, we still respond to physical stimuli, we still have our mysterious ways of making esthetic and formal choices.

December 2015
Recent Press for Untitled (Large Variation), San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3

Please click headlines to read full articles.


November 2015
I am pleased to announce the acquisition of 50 Variations by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art!

50 Variations is a series of fifty gouache works on paper based on a skeletal or ‘wire-frame’ version of the forms that comprise the vernacular of my paintings. Produced in groups of ten, each group is relative to the previous, yet involves an increase in the manipulation and repetition of particular elements, emphasis on certain features and the preservation of formal details. Installed in a grid, they are meant to suggest a trickle-down effect of information—degrading, mutating and rebuilding over time.

I worked on this series from 2008 to 2011 in my San Francisco studio and at residencies at the Ucross Foundation and MacDowell Colony. 50 Variations was exhibited in One Thing Leads to Another: Seriality in Works on Paper at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, November 12, 2011 – February 25, 2012 and in my solo exhibition Field Theories at Shoichiro/ProjeKcts by Projects, November 27, 2014 – January 7, 2015.

I am thrilled that 50 Variations will now be part of the permanent collection at SFMOMA!

50 Variations, installation of fifty framed works, gouache on paper, overall dimensions variable

[detail]  50 Variations, installation of fifty framed works, gouache on paper, overall dimensions variable

August 2015
I'm very pleased to participate in Resonate: Root Division's Inaugural Exhibition, the first exhibition in Root Division's new home in San Francisco.

Variation (blue): Artifacts, 2015, cast encaustic forms, dimensions variable
Variation (blue), 2014, oil and encaustic on two panels, 78" x 72"

RESONATE: Root Division's Inaugural Exhibition

With a curatorial focus on engagement and interaction, the value of artistic survival, and shifts in the cultural landscape, inaugural exhibition curators Dana Hemenway and Amy Cancelmo have developed a show that highlights what Root Division does best: present occasions for artists to deepen their practice by creating and exhibiting exciting new works; provide a space for the public to interact and engage with exhibited artworks; afford audiences of all ages ongoing opportunities to create and learn. The featured works in RESONATE will collectively celebrate Root Division, highlight the value and depth of the organization’s artistic community, and its continued beneficial impact on Bay Area sustainability in the arts. 


Exhibition Dates: September 12- 26, 2015

2nd Sat Reception:  Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 2-6pm (or by appointment)

July 21, 2015

Untitled (Large Variation), ceramic mosaic mural, 10' x 109,' San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3

Mural Installation at San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3 is Complete!

The installation of Untitled (Large Variation) is complete.  Many thanks to the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco International Airport and Mosaika Art & Design.

To read about the installation process, see my  blog.

To read the San Francisco Arts Commission press release about my project, click here.

To read Mosaika Art & Design's installation blog, click here.

June 8, 2015

Mural Installation Commences at San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3

Mike from Mosaika checking the surface of the mural during installation.

San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 3

In July 2010, I was awarded a commission for a large public art project by the San Francisco Arts Commission: a 10’ x 109’ ceramic mosaic mural for Terminal 3 at the San Francisco International Airport. The mural was fabricated by Mosaika Art & Design in Montreal, Quebec.  I’m honored to have the opportunity to create a piece for SFO and the City of San Francisco, and I look forward to sharing photos of the construction process. The scheduled installation date is June/July 2015, and the Grand Opening will occur in November 2015.

I will be blogging every step of the way during the installation process. 

More soon on this project.

Solo Exhibition:  Field Theories
Shoichiro/ProjeKcts by Projects
November 27, 2014 – January 7, 2015

Field Theories consists of a selection of recent works, including two new oil and encaustic paintings, an installation of fifty gouache drawings and a grouping of six oil on linen shaped paintings. The title of the exhibition alludes to mathematical, physical, psychological and sociological concepts. Together, the works in Field Theories address the relativity and interdependency of objects within a dynamic field.


Click to view works in exhibition

If you think of digital art as a soul-sucking realm of cold calculation destined to chip away at our humanity, Amy Ellingson shows the man-machine link to be an extension of her bodily instincts and neural impulses: realizations of a quest to develop forms that, she says, ‘confront the enormity of contemporary virtual experience’ while asserting ‘the humanness of painting.’ The results are dazzling to behold.
— David Roth, Squarecylinder

Solo Exhibition:  Iterations & Assertions

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
June 7 - September 13, 2014

Iterations & Assertions is a group of interrelated works in various media.  Together, the works constitute a creative cosmology, with each individual work relaying the same basic informational ‘code’ with varying degrees of digital and material mediation. The exhibition includes a large diptych, Variation: Apparent Reflectional Symmetry, Parts I & II, as well as a site-specific mural, Variation: Large Delineation, and a sculptural installation, Variation: Artifacts, in addition to six smaller paintings and two works on paper. Together, the works address the multiplicity of expressive possibilities within a limited system.


Click to view works in exhibition

SHIFT—Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting

Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada
June 7 - September 13, 2014

SHIFT—Five Decades of Contemporary California Painting is an exhibition organized by the Monterey Museum of Art in celebration of the Museum’s 55th anniversary featuring a selection of the contemporary art collection, together with generous loans from the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. This exhibition features 55 paintings from the 1960s to the present that explore a wide range of styles and aesthetic perspectives.

I'm pleased to have two works, Identical/Variation (erratic pink & white) #1 & #2,  included in Shift.


Women and Print: A Contemporary View

Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Scripps College  August 30 - October 19, 2014

I'm pleased to have two (of a suite of six) prints that I produced with Urban Digital Color/Gallery 16 included in Women and PrintA Contemporary View, at Scripps College.  Identity, nature, and science predominate in this exhibition of contemporary printmaking. Through these themes, Women in Print investigates the art of the print. National in scope, the exhibition features 66 works by 26 artists, showcasing leading women printmakers who are working in new ways, often combining traditional and digital processes to produce hybrid prints with fresh expressive dimensions. Together, these works reveal the strength of work produced by women printmakers today.            

The list of artists includes: J. Catherine Bebout; Anita Bunn; Sophie Calle; Squeak Carnwath; Amy Ellingson; Bernice Ficek-Swenson; Nancy Friese/Laurel Reuter; Monica Furmanski; Ellen Gallagher; Sandy Gellis; Catherine Kernan; Amanda Knowles; Karen Kunc; Sylvia Lark; Nancy Macko; Julie Mehretu; Karen Oremus; Ruby Osorio; Barbara Robertson; Rita Robillard; Paula Roland; Alison Saar; Mary Schina; Alyson Shotz; Pat Steir; Michelle Stuart; Sherrie Wolf.          

A full-color catalog with essays on the works’ focal points of environment, politics, and science will accompany the exhibition.

Solo Booth, Miami Project                                  December 3 - 8, 2013

Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art


Click to view works in exhibition