Linda Mieko Allen: Figmenta

June 13, 2014 - July 31, 2014

On June 13 Nancy Hoffman Gallery opens ”Figmenta,” Linda Mieko Allen’s new series, a body of work of the past two to three years, in which the artist investigates place and displacement, a favorite subject of hers for ongoing exploration. Space, tensions, transitional states and contradictions are key elements of Allen’s works, along with a dialogue between organic and geometric forms and shapes. Allen’s vocabulary incorporates natural phenomena, and architecture. She constructs and deconstructs an invented “scape,” to challenge the viewer’s experience. There are glimpses of land formation and architectonics, it appears. As soon as the viewer thinks he/she has discovered something recognizable, the work dissolves into abstraction... or a figment, the intention of the artist. “Figmenta” refers to that which is momentary, fleeting, or ghost-like. The exhibition continues through July 31.

Allen’s works are hybrid manipulations of paint and drawing. The paintings are built of thin acrylic “transfer” layers, ink film, and other media on aluminum or wood panels. The panels are light in weight, filled with detailed, serious and intense mark-making episodes, some representational, others abstract. They range in scale from 11x8 inches to 60x48 inches.

Each painting is based around a background high-key color, filled with myriad incidents. Like her mark making, Allen’s palette is distinctively her own. In the newest paintings light is a “primary subject,” a player on the field of the panel. The paintings appear to glow, and transition from a deeper to a paler hue of the background color, be it a phosphorescent orange or green, or sunshine yellow. The mark making moves across the surface as light and color shift, not unlike the magic of twilight colors in nature, changing the world from moment to moment.

Allen’s paintings invite close viewing and examination, they offer much from afar and up close. The initial impact is of color, energy, light and movement. Up close they reveal the intelligence of the artist musing on the state of the world today, with its many contradictions, confusions, and constant flux. These are 21st century paintings, not trying to solve problems, but posing questions for the viewer as the viewer takes in their voluptuous possibilities.

Linda Mieko Allen was born in Osaka, Japan. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and attended Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. She has received painting residencies from the American Academy in Rome, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, Nebraska; Bogliasco Foundation, Liguria, Italy; Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, California; MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire; Roswell Foundation, New Mexico; Roswell Artist-in-Residency Foundation, New Mexico; The Ucross Foundation, Clearmont,

Wyoming; and Weir Farm Trust, Wilton, Connecticut. She has been the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner Awards and a grant from Berkshire Taconic Foundation, Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

During the past year, Allen was awarded a Golden Foundation residency in New Berlin, New York, about which she writes:

“The residency allowed me to further develop this work with the use of unlimited materials from Golden Paints. This is a one-month residency in a beautiful setting with a studio, small apartment, and generosity of spirit. The consultation with and information from technicians were invaluable re materials, varnish options and digital imaging. “

The artist’s work has been shown at Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; Evanston, Illinois; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; Denver Art Museum, Colorado; Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California; Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Monterey Museum of Art, California; New Jersey Center for the Arts, Summit; North Adams Contemporary Artists Center, Massachusetts; Roswell Museum and Art Center, New Mexico; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, California; Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida; University Art Gallery, California State Hayward, California.

Among public collections in which her art is included are: Anderson Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, New Mexico; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, California; The David & Lucille Packard Foundation, Los Altos, California and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

For additional information and/or images, please call 212-966-6676 or contact the gallery at

Yours sincerely,

Nancy Hoffman