Pace Gallery presents an exhibition of all new paintings by James Siena, marking the gallery’s sixth solo exhibition by the artist since joining the gallery in 2004.
The exhibition debuts Siena’s first works using acrylic paint on large format canvases, all created in 2018. A catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition with an essay by American poet, artist, and art critic Marjorie Welish.
The scale and medium of the new paintings mark a significant departure from Siena’s more intimate and intricate enamel on aluminum paintings, which the artist has been known for since the 1990s. The use of acrylic paint and stretched canvas as the support have introduced new levels of painterliness, physicality, and immediacy to his practice. Drawing together approximately 10 paintings ranging in size from 36” x 48” to 70” x 90”, the new pieces have evolved away from the object-ness quality of Siena’s earlier work yet maintain a consistency with his long-held focus on personal geometries and rule-based abstraction.
Best known for his unique process of creating complexly dense geometric abstractions, Siena’s practice is driven by predetermined, self-imposed sets of rules or “visual algorithms”. Since the 1990s, Siena’s use of enamel sign painting on aluminum supports has fostered a powerful precision and stark vibrancy within his work. The current exhibition reveals the artist breaking beyond those boundaries and exploring a parallel world of possibility, invention and clarity.James Siena, Strunossc, 2018. Acrylic and graphite on canvas 90-1/2in × 70-1/4in (229.9 cm × 178.4 cm) © James Siena, courtesy Pace Gallery