Malevich Art Residency, Lake Como

June 2021

For the occasion of his exhibition at the temporary exhibition space DEEP, Parker Ito inhibited a Brutalist building, formerly-occupied by a fish restaurant and hovering over the edge of Lake Como, with a new suite of paintings, video projections, wall drawings and site interventions. The building, slated for extensive renovation, currently sits in transitory space, a status which mirrors Ito’s artistic disposition. Across his wide-reaching practice, Parker Ito tends towards the fleeting and evanescent – images, articles and ephemera are positioned not as concrete sources, but rather as hauntological referents, obfuscated by the artist through varied formal apparati. As dictated by Ito, these materials are cast into the domain of spectre; a networked afterlife.

In ‘medievl Times’, Ito externalizes a hypothesis of circulation, one which is marked by comings, goings, gatherings and locales; by placing new works within the defunct communal spaces at DEEP, Ito further contributes to forces of aggregation and sedimentation. An additional exhibitionary throughline is produced via the recurrence of hummingbirds as a central subject in this new body of work. A creature of habit, the hummingbird frequents, pollinates and cycles through feeders and flora. Their distinctive qualities are paradoxical –while a hummingbird is in motion, specificity blends into abstraction.

Ito articulates this condition, one which is also marked by transition and liminality, through bending pluralistic image-making technologies towards each other. Situated in the cracks between digital photography, light-sensitive exposure techniques and gestural painting, these works expand and contract, accordion-like, from legible pictorial spaces to abstract materiality. In doing so, Ito courts focus towards the mechanisms of how something is being seen, more so than what can be seen; a gesturing towards the work of art, with its ensuing subjects and situ, as repository conglomerates of predecession.

In various manners, these works reflect the particularities of the two sites Ito has inhabited in the last year and over the course of generating the exhibition: the artist’s home – an apartment in Hollywood where balcony plants and feeders lure the hummingbirds – and the Malevich Residency in Cernobbio, located 12 miles along the lake from the exhibition site and where the artist is in residence for three months. The lake is a geographical point of orientation that connects the residency with the exhibition space as well as serving as a material in the exhibition. The glacial water of the lake is used as the base for wall drawings of mythological amabie on the soon-to-be-demolished walls of DEEP and is also used in UV exposure processes imprinted on jute, representing the site of the exhibition and residency using mythological and abstracted pictorial methods, embodying the kind of diffuse reality that underlies Ito’s practice at large.


Parker Ito is a multimedia and digital artist known for his manipulations of found imagery and web-based systems of communication while producing artistic output at a high speed. His works include paintings, sculptures, ceramics, videos and digitally rendered images. In his work, he frequently uses non-traditional materials such as automotive paint, vinyl and 3M Scotch-lite fabric.

Ito is fascinated with the effect the Internet has on traditional objects and describes his practice as “championing the Internet.” He has said that until something more relevant than the Internet comes along, he will champion nothing else. Part of his fast-paced working style involves hiring assistants to help him produce works. Through the use of various pseudonyms, Ito creates different bodies of work and challenges the notion of authorship and authenticity.

Born in Long Beach, California in 1986, Ito lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Parker Ito’s work has been exhibited at museums and art centres internationally, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, China; Times Museum, Guangzhou; Primary, Nottingham; and Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway.

Solo and group exhibitions of his work have been presented at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; White Cube, London; Sadie Coles HQ, as part of CONDO London; Beijing Art Now Gallery; Air de Paris, Paris; Three Star Books, Paris; Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco; Team Gallery, New York and Los Angeles; Galeria Mascota, Mexico City; Holiday Forever, Jackson; CF Hill, Stockholm and Château Shatto, Los Angeles.

Ito’s work is included in the following collections: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Perez Art Museum, Miami; Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing; Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, New York; University of ChicagoBooth School of Business, Chicago; United Talent Agency, Los Angeles; Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; Sandretto Foundation, Turin; New Century Art Foundation, Shaghai; PCP Collection, Taipei; Rachofsky Collection, Dallas; Domus Collection; and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

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