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Kim Abeles

Kim AbelesArtist’s Statement

Data gathering, interviews and experimentation with unconventional materials have been predominant methods in my artwork since 1976. My work chronicles historical and contemporary issues housed in sculpture and multi-media installations created with a limitless array of mediums and skills. The simultaneous wrestling of complex ideas and studio experiments emphasizes to me the importance of combining conceptual ideas, a poetic space and material juxtapositions. I am as much an object-maker as a thinker, so I learn much from the materials I use in fabricating the works.

My artistic involvement is closely aligned with interdisciplinary pursuits. The urban environment, feminism, aging, HIV/AIDS, labor and collective memory are some of the specific issues I have engaged through my work. I have created artwork in conjunction with a unique range of collaborators such as the Bureau of Automotive Repair, Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project, California Science Center (CSC), Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Future Generations Ride of the Lakota. In 1987 I invented a method to create images from the smog in the air. The Smog Collector series brought my work to international attention in the art world and mainstream sources such as Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal.

Recently, I completed artwork for CSC’s Ecosystems and am continuing with art about pollution and gender that was exhibited for COP15 in Copenhagen.

Website: kimabeles.com


Select Solo Exhibitions

Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles

The Public, West Bromwich, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, Ore.

SCAPE (So. California Art Projects and Exhibitions), Corona del Mar, Calif.

Select Group Exhibitions

An Idea Called Tomorrow, Skirball Museum and California African American Museum, Los Angeles

Futuresonic, Manchester, U.K. and Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom

Feeling the Heat, Deutsche Bank Gallery, New York

International Songzhuang Festival, Beijing

Select Community-Based Artwork

Pearls of Wisdom, facilitated by A Window Between Worlds. Project funded by James Irvine Foundation and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles

Nature Studies, Abeles in collaboration with Math, Science and Art Classes, Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles

Personal Museums, Teen Arts Council, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, Calif.

SWARM, Abeles, Suzanne Lacy, Jeff Cain and high school students from Culver City and Fairfax High Schools, online and at Artscene: 25, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Fellowships and Awards

Paper Person and City-wide Smog Collectors commissioned by the California Science Center’s Ecosystems, Los Angeles

Artwork commissioned for an exhibition by ARTPORT in collaboration with the Global Gender and Climate Alliance and in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark

Edition of Smog Collectors commissioned by Deutsche Bank Art, New York and Frankfurt, Germany

Time-Line-Space commissioned by the Los Angeles Unified School District for the Central Los Angeles New Learning Center; Ambassador Hotel historical site, Los Angeles


1980, M.F.A.
University of California, Irvine

1974, B.F.A.
Ohio University

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