Olive Diamond: To Be Sung and Remembered / Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles

Anat Ebgi in Los Angeles currently presents Olive Diamond’s debut solo exhibition, “To Be Sung and Remembered”. Inspired by family oral histories, Diamond’s work explores migration and heritage, particularly her Jewish background. Through vivid landscapes and portraiture, she delves into themes of displacement, memory, and identity. The exhibition features abstract landscapes and bust-like vessels imbued with spiritual symbolism. Diamond’s intuitive use of color and unique glazing process infuses her works with mystery and allure. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Diamond’s art has been showcased internationally. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Olive Diamond: To Be Sung and Remembered. Solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi. Los Angeles, March 8, 2024.

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Exhibition text:

Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce Olive Diamond: To Be Sung and Remembered on view at 6150 Wilshire Blvd from March 8 through April 20. This is Diamond’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and presents a suite of new ceramic tableaus and vessels. An opening reception will take place on Friday, March 8 from 5 – 8pm.

Informed by real oral histories from her family and imagined versions that expand on these narratives, Diamond’s work considers a wide-lens view of migration and movement through landscape, tableau, and portraiture. Although specifically inspired by her Jewish heritage, such as family members who escaped persecution through Russian forests, or journeyed to French colonies in Morocco, or her grandmother born in a refugee camp in Siberia, the exhibition delves into these tales of displacement and passage to explore profound depths of human experience—love and loss, fate and coincidence.

Placing these subjects in abstract and almost hallucinatory landscapes, Diamond’s reimaginings of various family passages, explores ever resonant questions about who is remembered, what traditions are passed on, and where is home? These etched stones function as tablets of memory. Situated in near-abstract landscapes and filled with light and vivid color, the artist carves a record and preserves history. She looks to the past to gain perspective and wisdom for how to move forward along in her journey through the present. Working intuitively with color, mixing her own glazes, the works retain an aura of chance and mystery; highly seductive they are born through an unfolding process of discovery and reaction.

Two bust-like vessels in the exhibition, each with an expressive face function like “omniscient protectors” in these scenes—all knowing and all seeing. They hearken to Diamond’s inspiration from Kabbalah’s that the world was created in a vessel, and that God’s light came into the vessel shattering it, infusing everything in the universe with His light. Diamond crowns these personified jars with found metal toppers, suggestive of antique perfume vessels, or uncovered antiquities, bestowing them with a deity-like presence in the exhibition, sources of spiritual strength and mystical intervention. 

Olive Diamond (b. 1998) graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2021 with a BFA in Painting and Ceramics. Diamond was awarded the 2021 Florence Leif Award and the 2020 Anderson Ranch Fellowship. Her work has been exhibited at the Fall River Museum of Contemporary Art, Fall River, MA (2021); Loyal Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (2022); Soho House, Los Angeles, CA (2023); Japanese American Cultural Community Centre, Los Angeles, CA (2022); Sow & Tailor, Los Angeles, CA (2021) Unit London, London, United Kingdom (2022); South Willard Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2022); and 1969 Gallery, New York, NY (2023). Diamond lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

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