Los Angeles

Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled, 2019, walnut, 23 × 44 1⁄4 × 40 1⁄2".

Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled, 2019, walnut, 23 × 44 1⁄4 × 40 1⁄2".

Alma Allen

Blum & Poe | Los Angeles

Cast and carved from sober materials such as marble, wood, and bronze, the deceptively lissome sculptures of Alma Allen contain more than one crack at the idea of truth in materials. In press and press releases alike, Allen is insistently compared to Constantin Brancusi, who nudged modernism forward with his own quest to manifest the essence of natural forms through direct engagement with his materials. (It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the essence of a bird, rendered from a single plane of bronze, don’t you see?) Allen, whose work has been shaped by the sun-bleached vistas of Joshua Tree, California, and the humpbacked mountains surrounding Tepoztlán, Mexico, seems to have had the same objectives, only he landed closer to Georges Bataille’s maxim: “Truth only has one face: that of a violent contradiction.”

The works in Allen’s untitled solo exhibition at Blum & Poe dated from 2016 to

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.