“My experience at Scripps is a well from which I continually draw. It was at Scripps that I became convinced of the very real power of art and the continued viability of its role in our culture, despite the encroachment of postmodern cynicism. Now that I am teaching young artists at the San Francisco Art Institute, I am more amazed than ever at the dedication of the Scripps Art and Art History faculty. Their experience, scholarship, and practical knowledge was invaluable, but what impressed me most was the clear, unwavering message that art is important.”
Amy Ellingson paints with a hip-hop sensibility, synthesizing 60s and 70s design esthetics, textile patterns, architectural embellishment, advertising and comic book imagery, and formal elements derived from the vocabulary of art historical themes and practices. The resulting mutation of appropriated images comments on our cultural fascination with consumption, fetish, and the spectacle of desire. In his review (Art issues., January/February 2000) of Ellingson’s exhibition, Between Repetition and Insistence, Mark Van Proyen commented on “…her innovative use of encaustic. Layers of color emanate an inner light, making the paintings appear almost as if they were glowing lightboxes. The encaustic also allows for the precise layering of complex shapes, which gives the paintings the look of mysterious archeological schematics, or perhaps the tattered layers of old billboards.”
Amy Ellingson received an MFA from Cal Arts in 1992. She is the recipient of an ArtCouncil 1999 Grant to Individual Artists and a San Francisco Arts Commission Market Street Art in Transit Program Kiosk Poster Series commission in 2000. More recently, she has received the Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in 2007, the Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship in 2009, and the Ucross Foundation Residency in 2010.
She exhibited her work in KABOOM!, a group exhibition of work inspired by cartoon culture, at Haines Gallery in San Francisco. She has exhibited her work at jennjoygallery in San Francisco, Sherry Frumkin/Christine Duval Gallery and FOOD HOUSE in Santa Monica, the Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria in Austin, Texas, Cristinerose Gallery in New York, and at Gallery 16 in San Francisco. Her work, “Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall,” was exhibited at Frumkin/Duval Gallery in Santa Monica in January 2002. Her work has also been exhibited nationally at such institutions as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento and is held in various public collections, including the Oakland Museum of California, the U.S. Embassies in Tunisia and Algeria, and the Contemporary Museum in Hawaii. Amy Ellingson lives and works in San Francisco.