ARTIST

James Siena

b. 1957

Born Oceanside, California; lives in New York, New York.

Since his first major solo exhibition in 1996, Siena has risen to fame in the art world as an important American abstractionist. His work has been featured in more than fifty exhibitions, and his contributions have been recognized by his inclusion in the Whitney Biennial (2004,) and receipt of numerous awards, including from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000, and the Eissner Artist of the Year Award 2009-10. His work is in collections across the United States, among them New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco. Born in 1957 in Southern California, Siena now lives and works in New York City. 

Sagging Infected Triangular Grid, done for the 2012 Collectors Club members, typifies James Siena's "visual algorithms," in which he establishes his own rules for the creation of an image. The Tamarind images are partly cerebral in their relationship to artificial intelligence and the mechanical, but the tusche washes add a more organic element. He sets basic shapes in motion and allows them to transport him - and us - through the labyrinths they create. Prints comprise an important piece of his artistic practice and creative process.

James wrote about his self imposed rules for making Sagging Infected Triangular Grid:

The triangular grid image is something I've been exploring for a few years now. It's an interactive procedure that makes the image: 1. Draw a diagonal line connecting two opposite corners of the rectangle (making two triangles). 2. Draw a perpendicular line from the hypotenuse of each triangle that intersects the vertex of the two remaining sides (making four triangles). 3. Repeat. Sounds simple, and it is, but complexities arise when move #2 is repeated many, many, many times, and it becomes harder to keep track of whether or not the move is made consistently across the field of ever increasing triangles. That is the human side of the thing. I'm sure programmers can devise algorithms that can do this perfectly, but that's not the point, and in this print, the process is further corrupted and made human by the sagging of the grid (a unidirectional distortion approximating gravity and weight), and the "infection" of the intersections (locking the grid together in one plane, turning triangles into cells).

More