UTA Artist Space is pleased to announce Amaryllis’ Garden, artist Mario Joyce’s heartfelt homage to his late great-grandmother and the profound impact her urban oasis in Columbus, Ohio had on him as a child.

Joyce would spend nostalgic hours in his grandmother Amaryllis' garden, where she, after whom the exhibition is named, cultivated prize-winning amaryllis flowers. Vintage family photographs from the 1960s and 70s of Amaryllis' backyard sanctuary provide the setting for several of Joyce's new paintings. The works explore conceptualizations of heaven, paradise, darkness and light through the lens of Joyce's upbringing as a young, queer, Black boy growing up between contrasting rural and urban worlds.

The mixed-media works interweave elements of heavenly bodies, celestial landscapes and organic matter, symbolizing a quest for tranquility amid the tumultuousness of life as a Black individual in America. A key element of Joyce's work is the incorporation of soil sourced from his childhood farm, symbolizing an ancestral connection. This tangible link to the past is directly embedded within the canvas using oil paint, a technique that is unique to Joyce’s work.

Additionally, Joyce masterfully uses vintage collage materials, spanning from 1969-1999, as portals into time. His preservation process of these components showcases his commitment to presenting narratives through meticulously sourced materials.

I can’t wait to showcase Amaryllis Garden with UTA. The works represent a deeply personal exploration and evoke a celebration of peace that I found in the sanctuary of my great-grandmother’s garden. This is brought to life through the use of soil, vintage collage and impasto brushstrokes.

(Mario Joyce)

“We are excited to welcome Mario back to the UTA Artist Space, as a continuation of our deep relationship with him and his works. Embracing his practice and the evolution of his art since our last show in Atlanta has been a joy,” says UTA Artist Space director and curator, Zuzanna Ciolek.

This is Joyce’s second exhibition with UTA Artist Space since inaugurating the Atlanta pop-up exhibition space at Pullman Yards in 2022, before opening their permanent location in Midtown Atlanta. Other notable shows include a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2023 and currently on display at Vielmetter in Los Angeles until March 9, 2024.

Mario Joyce is a self-taught African American artist based in Los Angeles. His process began early and was heavily influenced by prejudices experienced growing up Black and Queer in rural Ohio. He uses genealogical research, soil from the Ohio farm he grew up on, carefully sourced vintage collage materials and oil paint to, explore how American History is steeped in selective storytelling that neglects to share the experiences of marginalized communities. Joyce is a 2023 alum of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, as well as the Pratt>Forward residency at New Lab in Brooklyn Navy Yard. He exhibited with UTA Artist Space in Atlanta, recently closed exhibitions in Milan and Frankfurt, and will be opening his solo exhibition with UTA Artist Space in Beverly Hills in February 2024. His work is privately owned by many collectors throughout the United States and abroad.