Elba Damast was born in 1944 in Pedernales, Venezuela. She lived and worked in New York from 1972 until she passed away on March 10, 2005. Her installations and paintings were exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. Her most recent show in 2004 was a one woman show in New York”s Lehman College, where she exhibited for the first time her installation Memories of Things to Come. This was an installation that was five years in the making and consisted of 8 found school desks, a camera, and 8 large sculptured bronze & brass hearts within which played videos of personal scenes. People were invited to sit at the desks, interact with the work and become part of the installation. In the late 80s and through the 90s she was was known for her paintings in which the outline of houses were seemingly etched into the environment of the canvas.
She was also known for the site specific, human scaled Casa Om installations, made of painted wire mesh, indigenous elements and designed to interact with the people and the surroundings. These ! were built throughout the Americas and Europe. A Casa Om was last included in the at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s traveling exhibition, “Latin American Women Artists 1915-1995.” Her work in the late 90s dealt with the symbol, image, and weight of the human heart. Like her house images, she worked with the image of the heart in paintings, sculptures and drawings. Her last series of work, Entangled Portraits, were a series of large paintings, sculptures and water colors of a single woman with multiple heads that were autobiographical and were titled “De lo Que yo soy (Of What I Am).”
Selected solo exhibitions: 2004-05 – Memories of Things to Come, Lehman College Art Gallery, Project Room (Bronx, New York, USA), 1995 – New Works, Joel Kessler Fine Art (Miami Beach, Florida, USA), Elba Damast, Art Museum of the Americas (Washington D.C, USA), 1994 – The House Within, Robin Hutchins Gallery (Maplewood, New Jersey, USA), Recent works, The Olsson Art Collection (Brussels, Belgium), 1993 – Casa Om, Plaza de Armas and Casa de la Alcaldia (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Casa Om, Museum of Contemporary Art (Panama City, Panama), 1992 – Casa Om en America, Morante Gallery (New York, New York, USA), 1991 Espiritu Abstracto, Moss Gallery (San Francisco, California, USA), 1990 – Installation, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art (New York, New York, USA), 1989 – Elba Damast, Landskrona Konsthall (Landskrona, Sweden), 1984 – Paintings, Littlejohn-Smith Gallery (New York, New York, USA), Taller Del Ojo, Galeria de Arte Naciaonal (Caracas, Venezuela), 1973 Aida Hernandez Gallery (New York, New York, USA), 1970 Ateneo de Valencia (Caracas, Venezuela).
Selected group exhibitions: 2006 – Percepción Autónoma, Gallery Galou (New York, New York, USA), 2005 – Venezueland, Gallery Galou (New York, New York, USA), 2004 – Figuración Fabulación Venezuela, Museo de Bellas Artes (Caracas, Venezuela), 2003 – De lo que yo soy/Of what I am, Lehman College of Art (New York, New York, USA), 2000 – Museo de Arte Lia Bermudez (Maracaibo, Venezuela), Confrontacion, Galeria Ateneo de Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela), 1999 – Museo de Arte Lia Bermudez (Maricaibo, Venezuela), 1997 – La Casa, Su Idea. Enjemplo de la Escultura Reciente, Plaza de España (Madrid, Spain), 1995 – Barro de América Segunda Bienal, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofia Imber (Caracas, Venezuela), Latin American Women Artists, 1915 –1995 travelling exhibition, Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA) , 1994 – Miami 94, Joel Kessler Fine Art (Miami Beach, Florida, USA), Latin Women Artist, the Americas Gallery (New York, New York, USA), Quinta Bienial de la Habana (5th Biennial of Havana) (La Habana, Cuba), 1990– Sculpture of the Americas Into the Nineties, Museum of Modern Art of Latin America (Washington, D.C., USA), Recent Trends in works of Art on Paper, Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Group Exhibition, Malen Gallery (Landskrona, Sweden), 1987 – Gallery Artists, Metro Art Gallery (Los Angeles, California, USA), 1982 – Il Bienal del Grabado, Cayman Gallery (New York, New York, USA), Stockholm Art Fair (Stockholm, Sweden), 1981 – Latin American Women Artists, Bronx Museum (New York, New York, USA), 1976 – Spanish and American Painters and Sculptors, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York, USA), 1971 – Joven Actualidad, Salon Arturo Michelena (Valencia, Venezuela).