David Lamelas (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1946) has been one of the most significant contemporary artists in Argentina since the 1960s. He studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, where he met Lucio Fontana, George Vantongerloo and the Madi Group. He exhibited regularly at the Instituto Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, a non-profit private institution dedicated to Argentinian avant-garde art. Thanks to a British Council grant, in 1968 he travelled to London where he studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art. Ten years later he moved to Los Angeles and in 1988 to New York. During the nineties he lived between New York, Brussels and Berlin. Since 1999 he has lived between Los Angeles, Paris and New York.
A pioneer in radical currents in sculpture during the sixties and seventies, Lamelas’s work abandoned traditional concepts of volume and moved toward materials and procedure. From his early films, close to structural cinema, he developed a very particular treatment of time and space. His films, installations and photographs investigate the way our construction of messages is influenced by the media. These are experimental works that relate the conventions of cinema narrative to new forms of constructing a story, and in so doing create alternative processes of communication and cognition.
After taking part in the 1968 Venice Biennale, Lamelas presented his first film at the Camden Arts Centre, London, in 1969, and took part in Documenta 5, Kassel, in 1972. His experimental work has been seen in numerous exhibitions in Europe and America, such as his first European retrospective at the Witte de With, Rotterdam and Kunstverein Munchen, Munich, both in 1977, and a large retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1995. He has also exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2000; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2004; retrospective at the Witte de With, Rotterdam and Kunstverein Munchen, Munich, both in 1977, and a large retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 1995. He has also exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2000; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2004; Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, and Fundação de Serralves – Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Oporto, 2003–4; and Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2005, among others. His work is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA, New York; Tate, London; and MOCA, Los Angeles, among others.