'Sink or Swim' alludes to the artist’s dance between liberty, entanglement, and the mind at
work. The paintings are anchored by figures composed of long deliberate line, workers seduced by
both materiality and the task of giving structure to ideas.
Moskowitz Bayse is pleased to present Sink or Swim, an exhibition of new works on paper by Alexa Guariglia. The occasion marks the artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Sink or Swim alludes to the artist’s dance between liberty, entanglement, and the mind at work. The immediacy of her medium is indispensable; gestural drawing volleys between intent and intuition. The artist walks a tightrope between a record and response to action as it happens and the fickle weight of passing time. Facility and expression coalesce, capturing the subject transfixed by necessity and desire.
The paintings are anchored by figures composed of long deliberate line, workers seduced by both materiality and the task of giving structure to ideas. Though the figures in the paintings appear to be women exploring caverns of solitude, they are in fact depictions of companionship with ones’ surroundings–compositions layered with vignettes and objects that present as talismans, creating a veritable ocean rich with significance.
Floral pattern, arabesque, and reference to textile adorn each piece, but also function to flatten interior and exterior space. This meditative mark-making is in contrast to the fast-paced nature of gestural form. Histories of craft and applied art–sewing, beading, carving, and collage–act as catalysts for empowering self-discovery, self-efficacy, and individualism in a world that regards practicality as paramount. As the power and pleasure of decoration indulges and intoxicates, the balancing act of restraint anchors both the viewer and the maker. This multiplicity is at the core of each painting; the artist’s figures represent one person, no person, and all persons at once.