Alise Spinella

Alise SpinellaArtist’s Statement

Translation lies at the heart of my practice. I make paintings, drawings and sculpture to record elusive elements (memory, time, sound) as form, and I use poetic systems to translate from one metaphoric language to another. Through strategies of interleaving, abstraction and performance, I create objects that become archives of my internal and external environments, resulting in work that is at once autobiography, self-portraiture and landscape painting.

In the ongoing project Meditation Drawings (2014-15), I trace the sounds of my breath along with the sounds from the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno where my studio is located. While meditating, I use my body as an instrument to record sound through gesture, building each of these plein air drawings layer upon layer. The end result is a time-lapse, archeological record of the painting’s own making, as well as a snapshot of the Los Angeles landscape (physical and personal) from which it was created.

With all my work, I investigate conditions in which the ethereal and the concrete interact. I aim to slow the viewing experience, to reward deep looking over time and to celebrate the side-door, narrative power of abstract images.



Select Group Exhibitions

The Cartographer, Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles

New Performances by Kate Gilbert, EJ Hill, and Alise Spinella, Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles

Question de Principe(s) /A Matter of Principle(s), Art Mûr, Montreal, Canada

Snapshot, FADA Los Angeles Art Show Curated Project, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles 

Select Fellowships and Awards     

Silence.Awareness.Existence Residency Fellow, Arteles Creative Center, Finland

Tending Space Fellowship Award, The Hemera Foundation

Vermont Studio Center Residency and Artist Grant, Johnson, Vermont

Select Community-based Performances

Pacific Ocean and the Salton Sea, Past Present Future Project, Eternal Telethon at Side Street Projects, Pasadena, Calif.

The History of WEDNESDAY, Cognitive Dissonance, Anthony Greaney x Samsøn x DAN GRAHAM at Cottage Home Gallery, Los Angeles


M.F.A., 2010
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Calif.

B.F.A., 2004
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

B.A. with Honors, 1994
University of California, Los Angeles, Calif.