Artist Reception: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
McClain Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new landscape paintings by artist John Alexander. Set amid the backdrop of his Amagansett residence and studio, these latest paintings explore the lush lily ponds, reflective waters and the gardens, starred with flowers, of his adopted home. These dense, luminous paintings, transport the viewer from dawn to twilight dusk and are complimented by several charcoal and watercolor drawings of lilies and coastal birds.
This latest body of work marks a strong return to landscape painting, which was a primary focus in Alexander's early years as an artist, drawing inspiration from the rolling hills and pine forests, salt marsh beaches, and dark, murky bayous of Texas. Alexander's father, a nature enthusiast, bestowed him with a deep appreciation and respect of the Gulf Coast's natural environment and its inhabitants. As a result, he celebrates flora and fauna in his work - beautifully executed, as if he were recording wildlife for posterity. The art critic Robert Hughes once wrote in an essay about John Alexander's work "[he has] the good sense to realize ... that to get back as close to nature as possible, [is] the never-dying source of aesthetic renewal." And it is within this genre that Alexander faithfully reconnects to his upbringing, naturalism and the lineage of painting.
John Alexander (b. 1945) grew up in Beaumont, Texas. He attended college and graduate school in his home-state and was an important participant in the 1970s Houston art scene. While living in Houston, Alexander taught at the University of Houston. Although he moved to New York in 1979, John Alexander's Texas roots run deep. Since moving to New York, Alexander has established himself as an internationally recognized artist and his artwork is found in museums and galleries in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Alexander's work is in such notable public collections as the Dallas Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Smithsonian Institution; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; as well as many others.
The artist will be present for the opening reception on Saturday, November 5, from 3 - 5 p.m.