B. 1957 Born in California, James Siena came to the East Coast in 1975 to study at Cornell University where he received his BFA in 1979. Twenty years later he received the prestigious Tiffany Foundation Grant and in 2000 was given an Art award by the American Academy of Arts. Siena started making abstract paintings with an aesthetic that sought inspiration from Artificial Intelligence (AI). For years he has been investigating the imaginary space of programmers' source and patterns through paint. At first glance the images could be labeled as decorative puzzles or labyrinths but there is a logic base for each painting. "I don't make marks, I make moves. The reality of abstraction is my primary point of engagement. When I make a painting, I respond to a set of parameters, like a visual algorithm."
Since receiving his first solo exhibition in New York at Pierogi 2000 in 1996, he has had many others including Gorney Bravin + Lee in New York, Daniel Weinstein in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Art Institute. He has also been included in a number of group exhibitions including the National Academy of Design, New York, the Weatherspoon Art Gallery in North Carolina, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and, most recently, the 2004 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial. Siena was invited to ULAE by Larissa Goldston in the summer of 2003. Although he had been making prints for years, he came to ULAE specifically to explore stone lithography.