Dennis Ashbaugh and Eduardo Kac

Dennis Ashbaugh and Eduardo Kac

Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM)

November 3, 2007

Dennis Ashbaugh
September 25 – November 18, 2007

Eduardo Kac
September 27 – November 11, 2007

IVAM, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno
Guillem de Castro 118
46003 Valencia
T: +34 96 38 676 79
F: +34 96 39 21094
comunicacion [​at​]

Opening hours:
Tuesday to sunday: 10 am to 8 pm
Monday closed

The Valencian Institut of Modern Art (IVAM) presents two shows that open up the new line on Art and Science: “Dennis Ashbaugh. The aesthetics of biology”, curated by Barbara Rose, and “Eduardo Kac”, curated by Ángel Kalenberg.

Dennis Ashbaugh

Born in Red Oak, Iowa, in 1946 and brought up in Southern California, Dennis Ashbaugh set out as an artist in the early seventies. His initial relationship with scientific processes led to various paintings based on the principle of hybridization, implanting images from different artists – such as Mondrian or Pollock – to create a mutant combination. His reflection on important advances that were being made in genetics and biotechnology began in the late eighties, with research on DNA giving the central focus. In 1990, Ashbaugh began using DNA sequencing documented by digital imaging as a starting point for heroic-scale paintings made up of layers of stains drifting through an ambiguous atmosphere with antecedents in Turner’s paintings of smoke and mist and Miró’s cosmic imagery. It is their sophisticated acknowledgement of tradition that differentiates Ashbaugh’s genetic “portraits” from the current craze for digital prints of DNA material.

Almost simultaneously he started on a series of works based on computer viruses, and this led him to collaborate with the science fiction writer William Gibson, who coined the word “cyberspace”. The result was the book Agrippa (A Book of the Dead), with pages that could be permanently eliminated, like
computer data.

Marine forms interlock in Ashbaugh’s most recent paintings, offering references to the camouflage of tropical fish and the ubiquitous pattern of combat uniforms. Considering biology and genetics as sources for iconography enables serious artists who have realized that Pop culture has ceased to be a relevant resource to access imagery that resonates with a large audience.

The exhibition of works by Dennis Ashbaugh is sponsored by ASISA.

Eduardo Kac

Considered one of today’s leading artists, Kac opened at the dawn of the twenty-first century a new direction for contemporary art with his “transgenic art”–first with a groundbreaking net installation entitled Genesis (1999), which included an “artist’s gene” he invented, and then with his fluorescent rabbit called
Alba (2000).

From his first online works in 1985 to his current convergence of the digital and the biological, Kac has always investigated the poetic, philosophical and political dimensions of communication processes. Equally concerned with the aesthetic and the social aspects of verbal and non-verbal interaction, in his work Kac examines linguistic systems, dialogic exchanges, and interspecies communication.

Kac’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Exit Art and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, and Lieu Unique, Nantes, France; OK Contemporary Art Center, Linz, Austria; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; and Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro. Kac’s work has been showcased in biennials such as Yokohama Triennial, Japan, Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, and Gwangju Biennale, Korea. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the ZKM Museum, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, among others. His public art commission from the University of Minnesota is in the permanent collection of the Weisman Art
Museum, Minneapolis.

For further information please visit our website:

Images above (left to right):

Dennis Ashbaugh: Flavr-Savr, 1990
Mixed media on canvas, 290 x 295 cm

Eduardo Kac: Chaos, 1986
Silver-halide hologram, 30 x 40 cm

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Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM)
November 3, 2007

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