International artist Bjorn Amelan exhibits his Ink Paintings on 18th and 19th Century Linen at Peters Projects, his first exhibition of these works in the southwest. Longtime part-time resident of Carson, New Mexico, Amelan has completed seven new paintings and one sculpture for this exhibition.
Amelan’s extensive career in the United States began in 1993 when the artist moved to stateside to begin an ongoing collaboration with Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company designing and creating as the Resident Set Designer and then Creative Director. Sculpture was always the focus of Amelan’s artwork, until he traded in his sculpture side-practice for the more transportable medium of hemp-ink on coarse antique bed sheets several years ago. Amelan sources his canvases from French textile dealers and meticulously paints with sumi and colored inks an imagined land where the eye never ceases to wonder.
“The idea is not to control it, but ride it until it falls into place,” Amelan states, “the process is all stream of consciousness, without clear cultural references.” As Salman Rushdie wrote of Amelan’s work: “I first saw these works spread out on a studio floor, where they seemed to be like maps, maps one could enter that would both guide one to, and around, and also become Bjorn Amelan's inner world. Hung vertically, they remind me more of gateways. To look at them is to be drawn into and through them into one's own imaginings. No two people looking at these works will see exactly the same things in them. What we see is partly the consequence of who we are.”
World renowned architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams write of Amelan’s work: “I think of ravishing royal Qing and Ming dynasty robes and tapestries as I look at the beautiful and amazing drawings done by Bjorn Amelan. The fabric is linen and the needle has been replaced by a fine tipped brush. But the effect is similar. Stitch by stitch, mark by mark – a work is made. And that making is an uncharted journey where each step leads to the next unknown. Amelan makes his marks on cloth that is folded into a square that fits in his lap, so in a sense his is a truly blind stitch. At some point he unfolds the cloth and begins to unite his marks – this time with a sense of the whole. The result is both archaic and contemporary. Images are teased out of marks and appear and disappear like smoke. I follow them knowing that I will not capture them. And that is how quiet magic happens.”
Bjorn Amelan was born in 1955 and is of Israeli/French descent. Amelans work is in the collection of Agnus Gund, Melva Bucksbaum, the 21c Museum Hotels and other prominent collections.
For more information, contact Mark Del Vecchio, Director, 505-954-5748, email@example.com