José Parlá is a critically acclaimed, multidisciplinary artist in painting, large scale murals, photography, video and sculpture. At the core of his work, paint, writing and found ephemera combine to evoke the collective unconscious of urban environments. Using the backdrop of world cities, he creates abstractions that can appear to be fragments of what he sees in the chaos and rush of the metropolis. His work reflects the ephemeral layers of walls that show a place that was, but no longer is—built over, renewed in some other configuration, in the present, engaging memory and imagination with the contemporary.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at he Neuberger Museum of Art, NY (2018); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2017); National YoungArts Foundation, Miami, FL (2016); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (2015).
Select groups exhibitions and biennials featuring his work include the U-M Museum of Art University of Michigan (2017); Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; (2016) Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, NC (2016); and The Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (2012).
Parlá’s work is in several public collections including, The British Museum, London, United Kingdom; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, POLA Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan; The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; and The National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba.
Permanent Public Arts projects include commissions by the the University of Texas at Austin (2018); ONE World Trade Center, NY (2015); North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library in collaboration with Snøhetta, Raleigh, NC (2013); Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY (2012) Brooklyn Academy of Music, BAM Fisher (2012); and Concord City Place, Toronto, Canada (2010).
Parlá (born 1973) studied at Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts and Savannah College of Art & Design.
“Caught very much in the moment, Parlá’s time is always transitory, a measure of echoes rather than certainties, a resonance of history where absence constitutes a more formidable presence than anything so shiny and new as the present.” – Z- Carlo McCormick
“Like Gerhard Richter, Parlá sees our art-historical notions of abstraction and abstract expressionism as having inextricably and poetically woven themselves in our contemporary understanding of the real, the authentic, the dramatic, the historic, the classic, the modern, the global, the magical, the African, the human.” – Greg Tate