Alex Gardner

Alex Gardner

b. 1987, Long Beach, CA

Lives and works in Long Beach, CA

Alex Gardner is a figure painter working in acrylic to make intense and memorable scenes. His entangled ink-black bodies are draped with dramatically folding white cotton separates and posed in pastel environments where the reflections of color produce subtle gradients and thoughtful tonal shifts.

As in Mannerist paintings, they capture drama with their bodies through the distortion of torsion, a clump of muscle, a knobby knuckle, a languid wrist. Over-articulated fingers and feet contrast with completely featurelessly smooth faces; expression is only through body language. Gender is hinted at but as with the skin and the clothes and the environments, all cultural signifiers are smoothed over to de-individuate and universalize.

In these paintings the artist charges the familiar with poignancy, highlights the details as important, and paints figures that all genders and races could see themselves in. Mimicking snippets of classical painting—from an El Greco hand to a Pietà carry, a crucifixion foot, a Michelangelo muscle group—he is not just inserting his contemporary identity into art history, but also opening up these art historical perspectives for all viewers to connect with.

 

Education

2011       BFA, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Solo Exhibitions

2017       RomCom, The Hole, New York, NY
2016       Laugh Now Cry Now, New Image Art, West Hollywood, CA
2015       What is your reason for visiting?, The Dot Project, London, United Kingdom

Group Exhibitions

2017       The Hole, EXPO Chicago, Chicago, IL
2017       New Image Art, VOLTA NY, New York, NY

2016       Winter Invitational, Jonathan LeVine Projects, New York, NY