The Phillips Collection Announces Major Centennial Acquisition of Daniel Canogar’s Amalgama Phillips

By Editorial Team on August 23, 2021
Daniel Canogar, Amalgama Phillips, 2021, Generative artwork, dimensions variable, The Phillips Collection, The Dreier Fund for Acquisitions


Digital work blends images from the permanent collection

The Phillips Collection has announced a new major acquisition undertaken during its centennial year: a generative digital piece Amalgama Phillips by Madrid-based artist Daniel Canogar that uses images of artworks from the museum’s permanent collection to create a seamless blend of ever-changing, fluidly morphing imagery. The work was created in celebration of the museum’s 100th anniversary and purchased through The Dreier Fund for Acquisitions.

The artwork will be presented as the Phillips’s second digital Intersections project, premiering on the Phillips’s YouTube channel (September 8, 2021), followed by a site-specific projection (September 14, 2021–January 2, 2022) at the museum and occupying the three-story high spiral staircase in the Goh Annex.

“The Phillips Collection is pleased to acquire during our 100th anniversary an artwork that so innovatively celebrates our collection, while also speaking to the ways that technology is impacting the art world,” notes Vradenburg Director and CEO Dorothy Kosinski.

Whether experienced in-person or online, the images of the artworks melt into a rich abstract animation. The piece is constantly evolving, producing new visual configurations driven by an algorithm. The word Amalgama, or amalgam in English, refers to the process of blending or melting visuals.

Conceptually, Amalgama Phillips explores how digital media is shifting our experience and understanding of art and the history of art. The swirling visual effects that have transformed the original artworks parallel our ever-changing reality and the ceaseless flow of information on social media that has also altered how artworks are consumed.

“All of the Phillips’s Intersections projects connect the art of the past with the art of today. The digital base of Canogar’s work, especially as we have all been living mostly online for over a year, makes this particular exhibition incredibly timely and compelling,” explains Vesela Sretenović, Cross-departmental Director for Contemporary Art, Innovation, and Partnerships.

Numerous programs are planned around the presentation of Amalgama Phillips at The Phillips Collection:

  • September 12: Sretenović and Canogar will discuss this project during a talk about the challenges of digital art at The Armory Show in New York.
  • September 14: The University of Maryland in College Park, a key academic partner of The Phillips Collection, will present a one-night outdoor projection of Amalgama Phillips on its campus (at the same time the project opens at the Phillips).
  • September 15: The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain joins the Phillips’s centennial celebration by presenting Canogar’s Amalgama El Prado (2019), a similar work originally screened on the facade of the Museo Nacional del Prado to mark the museum’s 200th anniversary, and now presented for the first time in the United States at the former Residence of the Ambassador of Spain (September 15–November 5, 2021).
  • November 3: Kosinski will be in conversation withPrado Director Miguel Falomir to discuss how the museum world is changing today and how Canogar’s work is a manifestation of the transition to digital media.

About Daniel Canogar
Born to a Spanish father and an American mother, Daniel Canogar (b. 1964, Madrid, Spain; lives and works in Madrid, Spain) received a master’s degree from New York University in 1990, but soon after shifted his interest toward projected image, installations, and public art. Canogar’s public artworks include Constellations, the largest photo-mosaic in Europe created for two pedestrian bridges in MRío Park (Madrid, 2010), and Asalto, a series of video-projections presented on various emblematic monuments, including the Arcos de Lapa (Rio de Janeiro, 2009), the Puerta de Alcalá (Madrid, 2009); the church of San Pietro in Montorio (Rome, 2009), and Storming Times Square (New York City, 2014). He has exhibited at Reina Sofia Contemporary Art Museum, Madrid; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio; Borusan Contemporary Museum, Istanbul; American Museum of Natural History, New York; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and Palacio Velázquez, Madrid, among others.

About Intersections
The Phillips Collection’s Intersections is an ongoing series of contemporary art projects in which artists are invited to produce work that engages the museum’s architecture and/or permanent collection, exploring the intriguing intersections between old and new traditions, modern and contemporary art practices, and museum spaces and artistic interventions. Inaugurated in 2009 and led by Vesela Sretenović, Intersections has presented 29 projects from the US and abroad. The artists have created diverse projects—both aesthetically and conceptually—and employed various media. Many of the projects also riff on the nontraditional nature of the museum’s galleries, sometimes activating spaces that are not typical exhibition areas with art produced specifically for those locations.

Digital Intersections expands upon the existing series by employing digital media. The projects are conceived for the on-screen experience, occupying one of the museum’s digital platforms or functioning as indoor or outdoor projections.

[Source: Phillips Collection press release]