STEVEN ALEXANDER: ALL ONE THING
January 18 – February 24, 2024
“He had to choose. But it was not a choice
Between excluding things. It was not a choice
Between, but of. He chose to include the things
That in each other are included, the whole,
The complicate, the amassing harmony.”
The title of this exhibition, All One Thing, reflects the broad inclusivity of the aesthetic process. It asserts that the painting and the viewer are interdependent, acknowledging all the various elements that operate within the moment of interaction: the formal components of the painting, the organization of those elements as a whole, the presence of the object on the wall, along with the sensibility of the viewer – their psychology, physicality, and experience.
The title also refers to the work in the context of history and ontology. I think of my paintings as participants in the ancient continuum of painting that goes back to the caves – collective evidence of the most fundamental human poetic activity, all sharing the same DNA. In a broader sense, I regard painting as a unique portal through which one may gain access to an infinite web of impulses, and a realization of being part of everything else….all one thing.
The paintings in this exhibition are, first and foremost, the byproducts of a process – of questions being posed, and of vague inferences being explored. They embody, frankly and humbly, my ongoing research into the nature of being human, and are intrinsically open and ambiguous. They propose that meaning resides in the convergence and coalescence of every element and nuance within the total aesthetic field, enabling heightened access to the richness of the existent moment – the stuff of life and love as color presence – states of being, embodied in paint.
Steven Alexander, December 2023
For more than forty years, Steven Alexander has been dedicated to exploring the language of abstraction, and its potential for regeneration and historical resonance. Extending the legacies of iconic modern artists such as Piet Mondrian, Giorgio Morandi, and Mark Rothko, who approached painting as an existential investigation, Alexander’s paintings present uncomplicated color situations that mirror the viewer and allude to rhythms, tensions, and dualities of the body and the psyche.
Alexander states, “My first direct encounter with a Rothko painting was at the age of 18 in the Dallas Museum. A large mid-career painting revealed in its engulfing scale, its undulating color relations, its raw surface, and floating space, a mysterious and extraordinary depth of sensation. It was at that moment I knew I would strive to be a painter. My work since then has been an ongoing exploration of possible ways to create for the viewer an experience like I had with that Rothko painting.”
Born in 1953 in West Texas, Alexander spent his formative years observing and absorbing the vast expanses of the Southwest plains. He studied art at Austin College with his early mentor Vernon Fisher. Moving to New York in 1975, he completed an MFA in painting at Columbia University, where he studied with Richard Pousette-Dart and Dore Ashton.
An elected member of the American Abstract Artists group (established in 1936), Alexander has been awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Belin Foundation, studio residencies at PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland, and Studio Art Centers International in Italy, as well as numerous public commissions. His work is included in many public and private collections around the world.
Alexander's work has been featured in more than one hundred exhibitions, most recently in one-person shows at Spanierman Modern in New York, and David Findlay Jr Gallery in New York, and numerous solo and group exhibitions and art fairs throughout the US and abroad, including shows in Cologne, Florence, Sao Paulo, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.