vertiginous world of ’s
painting, the stark realism of
is blended with the stylized
. Visceral nude figures,
individual or bound in sinewy groups, populate much of his work. Lush,
painterly bodies morph in and out of drawn form, with coarse black lines—like memento
—interrupting the light-drenched figures. Glimpses into the painter’s process
are visible in his seemingly frantic paint application, lending the work an
immediacy that heightens the presence of his subjects.
draftsmanship is both precise and theatrically exaggerated, and evokes the
dramatic space of graphic novels and superhero futurescapes, conveying a
narrative, existential tension. His current exhibition at 101/Exhibit
, “No Good at Exits
,” involves a more passionate exploration of the
painted surface and a greater emphasis on color dynamics than in the artist’s
earlier work. The transition from a more graphic, contrast-based approach to
this painterly, chromatic space softens the angularity of the figuration and
lends a dreamlike reverie to the artist’s brooding environments.
majority of Alexander’s works features nudes, there are several recent works
based on images of blues musicians. Viewing these solitary figures in moments
of creation seems to offer a glimpse into the mind of the painter. It is as
though he is trying to emulate the longing of a great blues song in his
intimate and psychologically complex figure arrangements. With all the flash
and virtuosity of his craft, Alexander’s true subject is in the interior life
of the subject and the artist. And though he is a consummate craftsman, it is
ultimately the fragile selves beneath the sensuous surfaces that drive this
artist to create.
“No Good at Exits” is on view at 101/Exhibit, Los Angeles, April 4–May 23, 2014.