Alexander ChevesOakland, CA
My work explores relationships between shape and color in paintings and sculptures that are directly informed by landscape experience: space, sky, horizon, vista, architecture and perspective. Using paint, wood, paper, plaster, concrete, steel and other building materials, I mine the contrast between bold colors, scale, and composition to encourage the observer towards an awareness of place and personal narrative, as well as imply aesthetic relationships between man-made, industrial structures and the California landscape that absorbs them. I explore this threshold where time and landscape co-mingle, taking a consistent cast of characters of iconic man-made and natural shapes—swimming pools, farm houses, apartment buildings, corner stores, sky-scrapers, highways, the occasional empty field and open sky—a step closer to fantastic abstraction. Quasi-recognizable sculptural figures cast impossible shadows; enthusiastic color fields flirt with the edges of their canvases and pedestals; previous dialogues between forms are masked but still visible beneath layers of paint; all to an end that suggests a grand conversation within and between individual works, betraying their otherwise minimal façade.
I grew up in the central valley of California, which is where I attended undergraduate school, receiving my Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts from California State University, Stanislaus in 1993. I left California to pursue my graduate degree, receiving a Master of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia in 1996. I couldn’t resist the siren song of the West Coast for long and returned 13 years ago.
I've had the opportunity to exhibit my work in the Bay Area at Gallery Paule Anglim, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, Headlands Center for the Arts, and San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. National exhibitions include work at Silas Marder Gallery and Maxwell Davidson Gallery in New York, Helen Day Art Center in Vermont, and The Museum of American Art in Philadelphia.
I currently live and have a studio in Oakland, California and worked as Senior Preparator for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art since 1999.