Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled, 2014. Claro walnut, 35 x 32 x 52 in.

Alma Allen

Los Angeles

Blum & Poe

Alma Allen’s sculptures are handsome, poetic, and uncomplicated. A tribute to the aesthetics of 20th-century abstraction, they hew closely to its classic values, as represented by several generations of artists, including Moore, Hepworth, Noguchi, and Bourgeois. Like his predecessors, Allen draws his points of reference from the world of organic forms, mainly from the figure and the geometries of nature. Though his dramatic expressionist surfaces and compact forms reference sculptors of the last century, they lack the same conceptual and formal rigor. His work aims at the abstract sublime, celebrates the sensuality of the abject, and is fabricated at a human scale. Each object expresses the material from which it was made—stone, wood, or bronze; the impeccable craftsmanship is the most powerful characteristic of the work. All of the pieces are highly polished, singular objects, articulated in a way that emphasizes the process of carving. Because Allen suffers from severe carpal tunnel syndrome, assistants and a robotic machine perform much of the fabrication (he is unable to carve for more than a few hours at a time). This may explain why the larger sculptures exhibit a uniformity of gesture that works against the activity of the surfaces. …see the entire review in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.