Opening reception: Saturday, 24 February 2018, 4pm
Introduction: Georg Imdahl, Düsseldorf
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11-6, Sat 12-6 and by appointment
The gallery is delighted to mount its first exhibition of luminous urethane objects, the most recent work by Peter Alexander. Alexander (born in Los Angeles in 1939, lives and works in Santa Monica) is associated with the Light and Space movement that emerged as an important, innovative, and distinctly West Coast approach to art. Trained as an architect, his oeuvre includes paintings, drawings and sculptures. Today he works in sculptural forms reminiscent of his earliest work from 1965-1972, when he had developed a technique for casting resin. He was fascinated by the material that retains some of the visual properties of a liquid even after it has solidified. Resin was commonly used for surfboards, but artists used it as a material for exploring metaphors about California, its hedonism, industries, and environment. In the 1970s, formal similarities between Alexander’s sculpture (along with Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman) and the work by Minimal artists in New York such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt were noted. They too worked with non-traditional materials and eliminated traces of personal touch. The resin works’ luminous transparency, however, typifies the Light and Space movement. Alexander’s semi-transparent bar pieces, cubes, wedges and columns evoke both the purity and artificiality of the light and colours of California. The cubes, or Boxes, are sometimes intensely pigmented, almost glowing, sometimes pale and clear as they absorb, re-fracture and emanate light. Critics have noted the visual appeal of the works, which are rooted in reality through their object¬hood, but are ethereal in their beauty. Viewers are captivated by the experience of looking at and looking through the objects, in which surface and depth flow into each other. The difference is suspended especially in the tall Needles with their ascending translucency that makes the tip almost “disappear”, as the artist puts it. They are slender freestanding columns, on view in lime, red, jet black, blue black and flo yellow and extend over 99 inches (c. 2.5 m) high. These works alter the space in that they cease to function as discrete objects and become environmental works. Alexander’s work has been shown in exhibitions around the world. The Orange County Museum of Art hosted his retrospective in 1990, in 2011 he was part of three exhibitions associated with the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1980, and the California Art Award in 2014. His work is collected by museums such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Museum of Modern Art, New York.