Encompassing sculpture, performance, installation, video, and drawing, Amalia Pica’s work examines systems of communication and what brings people together. Using seemingly simple materials and found objects, she investigates human modes of interaction, especially our desire to be understood and the accompanying pleasures and failures. Pica considers shared visual codes associated with verbal and nonverbal language systems – often incorporating playful signifiers of collective expression and cultural celebration such as bunting and confetti – ultimately exploring cultural intimacy and the political potential of joy. As a result, her work has a lightness of touch and a feel-good quality, which Pica prioritizes for its power to draw viewers into a conversation.
Born during Argentina’s “Dirty War” in which the dictatorship persecuted suspected political dissidents, Pica’s work also addresses techniques of state control and explores the relationship between form and politics, as well as history and representation. Her performances and viewer-activated works examine how civic participation and social forms can provide opportunity for creative expression and can even act as a form of resistance within oppressive social systems. More recently, she has turned her attention to investigating the systems that are ever-present and ingrained in contemporary society, especially bureaucracy and modes of assembly.
- Quasi catachresis #17 (legs of the chair, tongue of the shoes), 2022
- Quasi catachresis #9 (head of the nail, teeth of the comb, eye of the needle), 2022
- Catachresis on paper #1, 2022
- Catachresis on paper #3, 2022
- Stacker #3, 2021
- Paperweight #6, 2021
- Paperweight #7, 2021
- Paperweight #8, 2021
- Stacker #1, 2021
- Stacker #6, 2021
- Study for rearranging the conference table 26, 2021
- Study for rearranging the conference table 25, 2021
- Rearranging the Conference Table, 2020
- Semaphores, 2019
- please open hurry (in memory of Washoe), 2018
- Extended ears, 2017
- Música para 429 Megaponeras with Rafael Ortega, 2017
- Joy in Paperwork: The Archive, 2016
- Procession (Reconfiguration), 2016
- (un)heard, 2016
- Catacharesis, 2016
- In Praise of Listening, 2016
- In Praise of Listening, 2016
- Catachresis #55 (neck of the bottle, elbow of the pipe, back of the chair, teeth of the rake), 2016
- Catachresis #74 (Teeth of the rake, elbow of the pipe, neck of the bottle), 2016
- vCatachresis #88 (Legs of the chair, arm of the chair, eye of the potato, tongues of the shoes), 2016
- Asamble, 2015
- Joy in Paperwork, 2015
- A n B n C (line), 2013
- Catacresis #2, 2013
- Catacresis #5, 2013
- Catachresis #22, 2013
- Intersections #6, 2013
- Memorial for intersections #2, 2013
- Memorial for Intersections #1, 2013
- Sorry for the metaphor #2, 2012
- Strangers, 2011
- Venn Diagrams (under the spotlight), 2011
- Catachresis #9 (legs of the table, the neck of the bottle, the elbow of the pipe, the leg of the chair), , 2011
- Eavesdropping (version #2), 2011
Amalia Pica was born in 1978 in Neuquén, Argentina and currently lives and works in London. The artist received a BA from the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes P.P. in Buenos Aires in 2003 and attended graduate school at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam.
Pica has had solo exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2020); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (2019); The New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK (2019); Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth, Australia (2018); The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); NC Arte, Bogotá, Colombia (2017); Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany (2016): Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2014); List Visual Arts Center, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2013): Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2013); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Neuquén, Argentina (2013); Kunsthalle St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2012); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2012); Malmo Konsthall, Malmo, Sweden (2010); among many others.
She has participated in group exhibitions at FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France (2020); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2019); Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria (2019); Royal Academy of Art, London (2019); Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich (2019); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2019), Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK (2019); Hayward Gallery, London (2018); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017); Tate Modern, London (2016); in addition to many others.
Her work was included in the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2016); The Ungovernables: New Museum Triennial, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2015); and ILLUMInations, curated by Bice Curiger, 54th Venice Biennale (2011).
Public commissions include University of North Carolina, North Carolina; Semaphores, King’s Cross, London; and Sipping colors, De Pijp Station, Amsterdam.
Pica received the Zürich Art Prize (2020); Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award (2011); Illy Prize, Art Rotterdam (2011); and participated in the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation’s Grants and Commissions Program (2011). She has had residencies at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, Colorado (2017); Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2012); Uqbar Foundation at Casa Vecina, Mexico City (2011); Markus Lennikus, Baeurmarkt 9, Vienna (2010); and BijlmAIR, Centrum Beeldende Kunst Zuidoost, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2007); among others.
Amalia Pica’s work can be found in the permanent collections of Tate Collection, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museo Nacional de Bellas Arte Neuquén, Neuquén, Argentina; KADIST Art Foundation, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Frac-Collection Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France; Fundação De Serralves, Porto, Portugal; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Amalia Pica: QuasiFondazione Memmo, Rome, Italy April 12 - October 16, 2022
Amalia Pica: Accumulations and OverlapsTanya Bonakdar Gallery, Los Angeles September 11 - October 30, 2021
Amalia Pica: Round table (and other forms) | Zurich Art Prize 2020Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, Switzerland October 29, 2020 - January 17, 2021
Amalia PicaCentro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla, Spain November 15, 2019 - March 15, 2020
Amalia Pica: please open hurryInstitute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia November 18, 2017 - March 10, 2018
Amalia Pica: ears to speak ofThe Power Plant, Toronto September 29 - December 31, 2017
Amalia Pica: A un brazo de distanciaNC Arte, Bogotá, Colombia April 22 - June 24, 2017
Amalia PicaMCA Chicago, Chicago April 17 - August 11, 2013
Amalia PicaChisenhale Gallery, London May 25 - July 15, 2012
Amalia Pica: please listen hurry others speak betterContributions by Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh, Carolin Köchling, Rafael Ortega, Filipa Ramos, Volker Sommer, Eugenio Viola., 2018 Paperback, 128 pages
Publisher: The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts
Dimensions: 22.5×29 cm
Amalia PicaForeword by Madeleine Grynsztejn, Paul Ha. Text by Ana Teixeira Pinto, Tirdad Zolghadr. Interview by João Ribas, Julie Rodrigues Widholm., 2013 Paperback, 112 pgs pages
Publisher: MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, CHICAGO AND MIT LIST VISUAL ARTS CENTER
Dimensions: 8 x 10 in.
Amalia Pica2010 Hardcopy, 73 pages pages
Publisher: Malmö Konsthall
Dimensions: 6 1/4 x 8 1/4 inches