Elise Adibi


Elise Adibi’s paintings are made from living matter, the same stuff we too are made of. Materials she uses include, proteins, carbon, plant essences and occasionally human urine. The material continuum between the painted objects and living creatures is vital to her. It is her belief that the paintings are not inert objects but share the life process with us. She works with the mutability of painting, probing its boundaries as a medium and an object. The paintings exist not as objects fixed in time, but as the substance that evolves in a dynamic way between matter and cognition. She uses the language of abstraction to create paintings that are engaged in a process of temporality and embodiment. She uses the same materials to make different types of abstract paintings. In some paintings, she creates geometric patterns based on algorithms that she invents. In others, she pours plant oils into pigments, creating organic forms. In all her paintings, she strives to unite the geometric and the organic, chance  and necessity, permanent and impermanent, human and non-human.

Adibi’s solo exhibitions include Respiration Paintings at The Frick Pittsburgh (2017), Respiration Paintings at Full Haus in Los Angeles (2016), Substance at Louis B. James in New York (2014), Metabolic Paintings at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (2o13), Da Capo at Churner and Churner, New York (2012) and A Priori at Southfirst, Brooklyn (2010). In 2013 Adibi was invited to participate in The Armory Show Focus curated by Eric Shiner. Selected group exhibitions include New New York: Abstract Painting in the 21st Century at The Art Gallery at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (2015), Performative Process at Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton (2013), and Gertrude’s/ LOT, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2011-2012). Adibi’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, The Boston Globe, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Blouin Modern Painters and The Harvard Crimson among other publications.

Elise Adibi received a MFA from Columbia University in 2007. She also has a BA in Philosophy from Swarthmore College and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Adibi is the recipient of a Fellowship at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University (2013-14). In 2007, The Terra Foundation awarded her a fellowship in Giverny, France.