Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by New York-based painter Michel Alexis. There will be a reception for the artist Saturday, April 23, 5-7 PM.
Michel Alexis’ current body of work is an extension of a series he began some twenty years ago, in which he incorporated the notations and prose of Gertrude Stein. While the words themselves have left Alexis’ canvases, remnants of the motion and form of the written word are suggested through sweeping, calligraphic markings. In the new work, as with the old, words and letters are drained of meaning, freed of origin and occupy a strictly formal space. Alexis adapts the physical act of writing, translating it as drawing, incising and gesturing to create his own distinct, complex visual vocabulary. Alexis’ gestures are set off by jostling rectangles made of paper, burlap and other textured material, which fold, wrinkle and crease as they abut one another, or shift to reveal fissures of substrate color.
“In his previous oeuvre,” writes Joyce B. Korotkin in NY Arts Magazine, “Alexis appropriated the texts of Gertrude Stein as metaphors for the ways in which words can be manipulated to appear conversant while articulating nothing. Alexis here carries this notion of futility forward by dispensing altogether with the transmission of actual text in favor of insinuating only its residual obscurity of meaning. When all other modalities for communication have been rendered useless, what remains falls within the sensory plane; the lush surfaces that invoke gesture and invite touch.”