Exhibition Dates: January 7 – February 25, 2006
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 7th, 5 – 8 pm (in conjunction with ARTS ALIVE)
Location: Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm
The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by New York-based Texas artist John Alexander. The exhibition will be on view from January 7th to February 25h at the Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia Street. Alexander will conduct a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday, January 7th at 1:30 pm. He will be in attendance at the opening reception hosted by the gallery on Saturday, January 7th from 5 to 8 pm. The reception will be held in conjunction with “ARTS ALIVE,” a special weekend of exhibitions and events focused on the museums and galleries of the Warehouse Arts District. The public is invited to attend both events.
John Alexander’s upcoming exhibition will feature several large-scale paintings that capture a wealth of small details from his close observation and personal engagement with the infinitely rich natural world. The artist’s large oil canvases represent nature as mysterious and not entirely benign. Animals convey startling emotion; blossoms preen and pirouette, revealing the fugitive beauty of their color and shapes. He excels in the exacting medium of watercolor. Particularly in his drawings, Alexander captures clear, distilled essences. Elaborately rendered in charcoal, pastel and watercolor on hand-made paper, Alexander’s intimately-scaled animal, fish and flower portraits are executed with reverence and psychological insight.
The Texas native has vivid memories of expeditions with his father in which he discovered the exotic flora and fauna of the swampy marshlands of the bayou and the Gulf Coast. As noted by author Jane Livingston, Alexander is a painter whose ambitions have always been heroic, all encompassing. He believes deeply in the power of painting to communicate his passions. In the artist’s own words, he wants his art “to be highly personal and very much about what my experiences in the world have been, not in an illustrative way, but in a real emotional way that is universal.”
Although Alexander’s work pays tribute to the rich tradition of American painters inspired by nature, Louis Zona, Director of The Butler Institute of American Art notes that his vibrant renditions of the natural elements “possess a painterly energy associated with abstract expressionism that moves beyond traditional nature painting.” When asked how his work fits into the current artistic climate in a recent interview with Timothy Eaton, former chief curator of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Alexander responded:
“All through the 80s I was linked to the style of painting known as Neo-Expressionism. I always found that abhorrent because I never felt like I was part of that and I doubt they felt I was part of them. Certainly if you go way back in terms of landscape paintings, a great hero of mine was Turner from the late 18th century, and . . . the French Barbizon painters of the late 19th century. I always felt there was a much greater connection between myself and a longer history than just 20th century expressionism.
How do I see myself in the bigger picture? Well, in a bigger picture I would much rather be linked to my heroes than current faddists and latest trends.”
Born in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas, Alexander remained in southeast Texas until he entered graduate school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1969. Upon completing an MFA in 1970, he moved to Houston, established a studio and became a member of the art faculty of the University of Houston. In the late 70s Alexander left Texas for New York, first Soho and later Amagansett on the south shore of Long Island, where he settled in an 18th century farmhouse on three acres of land by the coast. There, amidst a setting of rich vegetation and flowering plants, Alexander has become a masterful landscape and still-life artist with a remarkable aptitude for realism and an uncanny ability in his specific images both to infuse his subjects with life and to evoke musing about universal concerns. The artist currently lives and works in Amagansett, NY, and New York City.
John Alexander has exhibited extensively in the United States, and his paintings were recently highlighted in “John Alexander: Recent Observations” at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. His work is included in the permanent collections of leading museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Dallas Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as many other distinguished public and private collections worldwide.
For additional information please contact the gallery at 504.522.1999 or visit our web site www.arthurrogergallery.com.