Biography

The work of American artist Amy Bessone (b.1970, New York, US) draws on representations of the female figure throughout history. Described by Bessone as ‘feminine archetypes’, these subjects form a central component of her paintings and sculptures, and reflect a range of sources, including ancient marble nudes, Renaissance reliefs and personal souvenirs.

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As the focal point of her evocative and playful landscapes, the artist’s longstanding engagement with the female form relates to her desire to develop an artistic practice that is accessible. As she has commented: ‘What is more universally relatable than the human body?’

Bessone’s meditations are informed by an interest to subvert existing portrayals of women in the cultural sphere, and the artist is equally passionate about citing art historical tropes which may appear in opposition to contemporary feminist ideals.

Found objects are another key aspect of Bessone’s practice. The items she cites within her work, especially in relation to her small-scale figurines and ceramic works, have been termed by Bessone as her ‘muses’.

Bessone was born in 1970 in New York, US. She studied in Paris and Amsterdam from 1989-1995, earning a BFA from Parsons Paris School of Design, and received further education at De Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, California,

Bessone has had solo exhibitions at The Pit, Los Angeles, California, US (2019); Gavlak Gallery, Los Angeles, California, US (2016); Salon 94 Freemans, New York, US (2015); Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (2014); Salon 94 Bowery, New York, US (2013); VeneKlasen/Werner, Berlin, Germany (2012); Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France (2011).

Her work has been included in group shows at 12.26, Dallas, Texas, US (2021); Deitch Projects, Los Angeles, California, US (2020); La Loma Projects, Pasadena, California, US (2020); Harper’s Apartment, New York, US (2020); Salon 94, New York, US (2019); The Pit, Los Angeles, US (2019); National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC (2016); The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, US (2015); and Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (2014).

Bessone’s work features in a number of museum collections including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Frac Bretagne, Châteaugiron. Her work has also been acquired by foundations, including Rennie Museum, Vancouver, and Rubell Family Collection, Miami.

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Works

Pink Power Mama, Orange Leaves, 2016

Oil on canvas
121.9 x 101.6 cm (48 x 40 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Bondage of Self, 2019

Oil and oil bar on canvas
121.9 x 96.5 cm (48 x 38 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Sunday Reading, 2019

Oil on canvas
50.8 x 63.5 cm (20 x 25 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

The Upside of Her Hell, 2017

Oil on canvas
177.8 x 152.4 x 3.8 cm (70 x 60 x 1 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Two Moons, Two Suns, 2020

Glazed ceramic
63.5 x 62.2 x 10.2 cm (25 x 24 1/2 x 4 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Distorted Thoughts, Invasive Species, 2019

Watercolour and ink on paper
50.8 x 35.6 cm (20 x 14 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Untitled, 2019

Watercolour on paper
Unframed: 30.5 x 22.9 cm (12 x 9 in); framed: 36.4 x 29 cm (14 3/8 x 11 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Lemon Tree Tondo No. 1., 2020

Glazed ceramic
69.8 x 69.8 x 12.7 cm (27 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 5 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Untitled (Hands), 2018

Oil on canvas
121.9 x 96.5 cm (48 x 38 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

S1.7, 2015

Glazed ceramic
81.3 x 45.7 x 48.3 cm (32 x 18 x 19 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Micro-Monument No. 2 (White/Green), 2018

Glazed ceramic and pumice stone
11.4 x 15.2 x 11.4 cm (4 1/2 x 6 x 4 1/2 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Reclining Woman Still Life No.1, 2013

Acrylic on canvas
30.5 x 38.1 cm (12 x 15 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

Micro-Monument No. 1 (Coffee/Clear), 2018

Glazed ceramic, paint and wood
17.1 x 8.9 x 12.7 cm (6 3/4 x 3 1/2 x 5 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

In the Valley of Exes, 2018

Oil on canvas
152.4 x 365.8 cm (60 x 144 in)
Courtesy: © Amy Bessone

  • Pink Power Mama, Orange Leaves, 2016
  • Bondage of Self, 2019
  • Sunday Reading, 2019
  • The Upside of Her Hell, 2017
  • Two Moons, Two Suns, 2020
  • Distorted Thoughts, Invasive Species, 2019
  • Untitled, 2019
  • Lemon Tree Tondo No. 1., 2020
  • Untitled (Hands), 2018
  • S1.7, 2015
  • Micro-Monument No. 2 (White/Green), 2018
  • Reclining Woman Still Life No.1, 2013
  • Micro-Monument No. 1 (Coffee/Clear), 2018
  • In the Valley of Exes, 2018

Press

Art in Isolation with Amy Bessone

Lindsay Preston Zappas, Contemporary Art Review LA

May 2020

Misplaced Empathy: Amy Bessone Interviewed by William J. Simmons

William J. Simmons, BOMB

April 2019

The Ethos of Making

Amy Bessone, Kaleidoscope

December 2014

Interview with Amy Bessone

Heather Jones, Kunsthall Stavanger

April 2014

Review: Amy Bessone, VeneKlasen/Werner

Jurriaan Benschop, Artforum

March 2012

Books

Brask Studio Visits VI

Brask Publications

2020

News

Amy Bessone

in ‘Tiger in a Tropical Storm’, Louise Alexander Gallery, Sardinia

Amy Bessone

in ‘Possibility Made Real: Drawing & Clay’, 12.26, Dallas, Texas

Amy Bessone

in ‘Demifigures’, La Loma Projects, Los Angeles

Alison Jacques Gallery Announces Representation of Amy Bessone

The American artist’s work draws on historical representations of the female figure