José Parlá (b.1973) creates paintings and multidisciplinary works based on his interest in hybrid forms of abstraction. He draws inspiration from various mediums including music, calligraphy, dance, and the decay of urban architecture and advertisements. His works poetically challenge ideas about language, politics, identity, and how we define places and spaces. Parlá's relationship with mark-making is physical and textural, incorporating the body's gestures into a painterly stream of consciousness composed of areas of addition, erasure, and layering that challenges the status quo of visual culture.


Parlá was born to Cuban parents in Miami, Florida and lives and works out of Brooklyn, New York. He studied painting at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia; the New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida; and Miami Dade College, Miami, Florida.


Solo exhibitions of Parlá's work have been organized at institutions such as The Bronx Museum, New York (2022); Gana Art Center, Seoul (2022); Istanbul'74, Istanbul (2019); Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation, Hong Kong (2019); Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York (2018); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2017); Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York (2017); Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas (2016); High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2015); amongst others.


Public arts projects include permanent large scale commissions including Far Rockaway Writer's Library, a collaboration between Snøhetta and Parlá, New York (2023); Amistad América, University of Texas, Austin (2018); One Union of the Senses, ONE World Trade Center, New York (2015); Nature of Language, in collaboration with Snøhetta, Hunt Library at North Carolina State University, Raleigh (2013); Diary of Brooklyn, Barclays Center, New York (2012); Gesture Performing Dance, Dance Performing Gesture, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York (2012); The Bridge, and The Names that Live and Sometimes Fade While Time Flies, Concord City Place, Toronto (2010).


Select group exhibitions and biennials featuring his work include The Culture: Hip Hop & Contemporary Art in the 21st Century, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (2023); Brooklyn Abstraction, Four Artists, Four Walls, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2022); Reflections, Gana Art, Seoul (2019); Glasstress, Fondazione Berengo Art Space, Venice (2019);  Beyond the Streets, New York (2019); Yasiin bey: Negus, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2019); Victors for Art, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor (2017); Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York (2016); Seeing, Saying, Images and Words, Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, North Carolina (2016); Wrinkles of the City: Havana Cuba: JR & José Parlá, the Havana Biennial, Havana (2012); amongst others.


Parlá's work is in several public collections including the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami; The British Museum, London; Buffalo AKG Art Museum, New York; El Espacio, Miami; POLA Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan; The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; and The National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana.


Parlá has received numerous awards and honors, including the Scholastic Art Alumni Achievement Award (upcoming 2024); Pratt>Forward Artist Mentor (upcoming 2024); Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2023), Hirshhorn Museum Artist x Artist honoree (Hank Willis Thomas x José Parlá) (2023), National Young Arts Foundation Award (2022), Americans for the Arts' National Art Award (2022), Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network (2019), Miami Dade College Alumni Hall of Fame Award inductee (2016), Brooklyn Arts Council honoree (2014), Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) London - Grand Prize (2013), Heartland Film Festival - Best Documentary Short and Best U.S. Premiere for Wrinkles of the City, Havana (2013).


Parlá has been featured in publications and media globally such as The New York Times, CBS News Sunday Morning, Artforum, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, The Brooklyn Rail, Art in America, Dazed, BOMB Magazine, Whitewall, Juxtapoz, CULTURED, EL PAÍS, Vogue, Financial Times, and many more.

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