Visual Arts | What's New

Andrew Alba Wants to Rearrange UMOCA in 2019


As a self-taught artist, Andrew Alba says he’s able to create works “outside the constraining expectations that contemporary artists educated within the academy often face.” That hasn’t kept the artist out of official art institutions, however. He’s halfway through a year-long residency at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, a program that offers free studio space at the museum and a solo show inside the museum at the end of the residency. “I am excited about it because it will be my first museum show but I will also have the chance to work with the floor space for installation and sculpture ideas,” says the Salt Lake City native. “I have always wanted to play around in the 3D world more but have never had the opportunity to exhibit the work until now. I’m excited to see what becomes of this and how it will relate to the paintings.”

A descendant of Mexican migrant workers, Alba grew up in a mixed race family and frequently uses images that reflect his experience in his works, which exist somewhere between abstraction and neo-expressionism.

Something else Alba is working on in 2019 is being a father. His daughter is 10 months old. “Naturally, being a parent has affected all levels of my life, and it has been interesting to see what it has done for my art. Now, life in general is more intense and tangible, including the process in the studio. I’m still discovery how becoming a parent has affected the process but what I can say is that it feels more intense, direct and loud.”

You’ll find more of his work at


What’s New (2019) curated by Andrew Alba.

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2 replies »

  1. Only an idiot—or an American president—would argue that nothing can be learned by studying the work of the past masters. On the other hand, Andrew Alba is absolutely spot on to point out that with education come restrictions. The first artists in any medium generally impress with the way their art seems to come fully formed from their brushes, chisels, sketchbooks, and so on. Then those who study their actions find rules therein, and stand on the shoulders of those who came before, and soon the edifice threatens to topple. Constant regeneration and an infusion with new ideas and energy are among the things Alba has to offer. Let’s take him up on it.

  2. Andrew works a lot with ideas similar to Bell’s Theory of Significant form and its possible substrates and implications. His work is more complex than some of what is coming out of Utah academia presently. It doesn’t need to be considered as separate from the artist establishment here, because it is already well ingrained in the community. Art is a practice that typically generates progress and Alba’s work is a definite catalyst.

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