Athenessa Gallery is pleased to present Amadour – Prajñā Tree, on view in Los Angeles from February 12 - March 12, 2022. In the artist’s debut solo exhibition, Amadour’s research on the oldest living organisms on Earth, unfurls on unstretched canvases in the form of monochromatic abstractions of ancient trees. Energetic and inviting, these movement-based works reveal the complex structures with which all living beings are so simply in tune.
Atop the summit of Kenter Canyon trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, the eponymously named Prajñā Tree is a Coast Live Oak. As a ritualistic sojourn, Amadour frequents the mountain as a way to find sanctuary. In Sanskrit, Prajñā translates to “wisdom.” The exhibition focuses on our existing symbiosis with flora including the Coast Live Oak, Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, Pando Forest, Purple Needlegrass, and their sensory and memory capacities by way of mycelium.
Amid our heavily altered landscape, whose physical wellbeing is irreparably impacted by climate change, it is imperative to revaluate ecological resilience. By addressing the profundity of biodiversity, Amadour reflects on the wisdom of the natural world as a perception of interconnectivity. Humanity can no longer dwell in the fantasy of the innocent observer. Human intervention in nature has made the world unlivable for us, and nature fights back in an attempt to heal itself. Amadour’s proposition suggests that the devastating impact of climate change has left no environment nor habitat untouched by the human hand. The artist begs the question, how do we justify our existence?
In a phantasmagorical landscape of grayscale gestures, Amadour surveys the biotic world as a cultural artifact. Constellations of arbitrarily juxtaposed symbols, scribbles, fingerprints, and brushstrokes collapse the delineation between forms of figuration, foreground, background, and illusionistic perspective. The artist moves their body above, upside down, and around each unstretched canvas, allowing the individual mark to trace their movement, with works painted both on the ground and on the wall.
In a biological sense, nature’s directional response is also action oriented. Gravity is intensified within the series of paintings with suggestions of looking up into a forest canopy, through the ground at microscopic roots systems, and a macroscopic view of grass. Variations of scale and shape distill moments of conscientiousness. A physical engagement with materials including acrylic paint, colored pencils, oil pastel, graphite, and gouache, serve as an index of structure for the surface.
Largely devoid of color, this collection of work reflects the perpetual discovery and eternalness of the natural world. A range of formal shifts in canvas size unites multiple perspectives of the ecological universe. To further the sensorial experience, recorded soundscapes in proximity to locations where these species are found plays as a reoccurring loop throughout the exhibition.
Amadour (b. 1995 in Sparks, Nevada; Lives and works in Los Angeles and New York City) received dual BA degrees in studio art and art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. Recent group exhibitions include Black and White at Site: Brooklyn, New York; Tailgate at Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles; P.A.L.M.A. at Who Is Seen, Los Angeles; and The Cardiographs at OPaf, Los Angeles.