ALEX BLAU: CERTAINTY
Zeitgeist Gallery / 516 Hagan St. , #100 February 4 - 25th
This exhibition continues the artist’s decades-long exploration of pattern as means of imprinting the personal within our shared collective experience. Through a process of deconstruction and variant reconstitution, the artist both embodies and interrogates the symphonic energies that course the internal/external boundary. The exhibition includes two dozen dynamically composed abstract paintings whose imagery draws from the artist’s life and interactions.
I’ve been thinking a lot more about my own energy and relating it to what is happening around me, and I imagine those energies as rings rippling out into other rings. In that cascading echo, structure emerges across the surface. Within the painting’s space, I create a web of flexible rearrangement that encompasses the contrasting nature of experience that is both shaky and resilient. I ask questions all day long, but there comes a moment when I can see a pivot from one move to the next. I am awake and not awake. In that moment of clarity is a certainty without fear. The different aspects of my experience bubble together as daily experiences and distant memories combine and recombine. I am intrigued by this negotiability and its seemingly limitless possibilities. Sometimes when different sounds come together it creates a type of beauty that can be felt in the body. A song with melodies colliding together just makes your stomach drop or your heart ache a bit. I want that in my paintings, the togetherness of difference. In setting up these rhythms I focus on my breathing, and on being present to slow the bubbling from simmer to stillness so I can feel the natural connection to the next rhythm and see what emerges, the decision that becomes an image revealed. Those marks, images, or colors may stay or may be washed away. It’s a joy to work to find that moment of certainty. It is a paradox tamed and revealed and then wild again.
Alex Blau has an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design and works primarily in painting. Alex’s geometric paintings draw from a variety of sources and have unexpected associations. By variously utilizing graphic languages associated with things like disposable consumer goods, computer generated architectures and unfolding mandalas, Blau’s work both points to abstraction’s open-ended possibility and highlights its incorporation into mass culture. Alex has had solo shows at several venues, including Frist Center, Firecat Projects in Chicago, Gallery Seomi in Seoul, Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston and the New Britain Museum of American Art. She currently teaches at Vanderbilt University and Austin Peay State University. She is represented by Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville, TN.