Amalia Ulman (born 1989) is an Argentinian-born Spanish-raised (Los Angeles based) artist, whose practice includes performance, installation, video and net-art works.
Amalia Ulman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1989 but was raised in the Spanish province of Asturias, after emigrating with her family. In 2009, she left Spain to study at Central Saint Martins in London, where she graduated in 2011. In 2013, she was in a serious Greyhound bus accident that later informed her art practice.
Amalia Ulman currently lives and works in Los Angeles and Gijon.
Her work deals with issues of class, gender, and sexuality. Ulman is particularly interested in middlebrow aesthetics.
In 2012, Ulman presented Profit | Decay, a show held with Katja Novitskova at the gallery Arcadia Missa in London. In 2013, she had another duo exhibition, with Lauren Elder, "Immune Instability I | s" at Steve Turner Gallery, in Los Angeles.
In 2014, she presented two solo shows in Los Angeles, CA, "Used & New" at ltd Los Angeles and "Delicious Works" at Smart Objects, also in Los Angeles. She also had the solo show "Baby Footprints Crow’s Feet" with Ellis King in Dublin.
The same year Amalia Ulman started “Excellences & Perfections”, a four-month performance taking place on her personal Instagram account. Through her posts, Amalia Ulman fabricated a fictional character whose story unfolded in three different episodes presenting her acting as three different personas: a 'cute girl', then a 'sugar babe' and finally a 'life goddess'. "The idea was to bring fiction to a platform that has been designed for supposedly “authentic” behavior, interactions and content. The intention was to prove how easy an audience can be manipulated through the use of mainstream archetypes and characters they’ve seen before." Ulman's Instagram selfies were mainly taken sneaking into hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles and posted as if they documented her real life.
In October 2014, during Frieze Art Fair, Ulman presented a solo show "The Destruction of Experience" at Evelyn Yard in London. For the show Ulman made "The Future Ahead", a video essay about Justin Bieber's "growth from angelic teenager to hetero-normative white male".
In January 2015, she presented "Stock Images of War", her first solo show in New York City at James Fuentes Gallery. It consisted in an immersive installation composed of twelve simple wire-frame sculptures, each one being titled after a different month of the year – i.e. “War in January”, “War in February”, etc.
In 2016 "Excellences and Perfections" was selected to be included in the group exhibition "Performing for the Camera" at Tate Modern, London (18 February — 12 June 2016). The exhibition, which examined the relationship between photography and performance, brought together over 500 works spanning 150 years from the invention of photography in the 19th century to the selfie-culture of today. Through Amalia Ulman's instagram-based project, social media was examined in the historical context of photographic performances. The installation was also part of the exhibition "Electronic Highway" at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Ulman has thus been described as the first social network-based artist to enter top institutional galleries.
- "Savings & Shelves" Headquarters, Zurich
- "Overcome, cleanse" Galeria Adriana Suarez, Gijon
- "Promise a Future" Marbriers 4, Geneva
- "Moist Forever" Future Gallery, Berlin
- "Ethira", Arcadia Missa, London
- "Used & New" ltd, Los Angeles
- "Delicious Works" Smart Objects, Los Angeles
- "Babyfootprints Crow’s Feet" Ellis King, Dublin
- "The Destruction of Experience" Evelyn Yard Gallery, London
- "Stock Images of War" James Fuentes Gallery, NYC
- "International House Of Cozy" Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam
- "Reputation" New Galerie, Paris
- "Labour Dance" Arcadia Missa, London