Alexander Kroll

February 20 to March 27, 2010

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Alexander Kroll. Based in Culver City, California, the artist works in oil, acrylic, and enamel to create sensual works layered with geometric detailing and textural effects. Kroll’s pieces are intimate, the largest being no longer than twenty inches to a side. Fat brushstrokes dominate the works giving each a heroic gesture that counters their scale. This is his first solo show at James Harris Gallery.

Educated at Yale University, Otis College of Art and Design, and the Slade School of Art, University College (London), Alexander Kroll has been working in paint for well over a decade. For this exhibition, Kroll shows a selection of works that employ underpainting and collage to build up the picture plane. Striking diagonal markings crisscross the surface, interrupting and building upon layers of pigment. In some works, the artist uses sections of glinting metallic paint to destabilize the layers of brushwork. In others, smeared lines of intense colors run into and over each other. A more delicately-hued piece employs pale pink paper collaged into the background, with white lines slashing over top, encountering pale green daubs or indigo segments.

With dramatic diagonal markings functioning as foreground, other layers of paint recede behind what may be considered a sort of visual fence. One must look through the surface-layer markings in these pieces to appreciate the color and texture both highlighted and obscured by their graphic interruption.

“These paintings take tremendous time to make…,” explains Kroll, “between a month and two years – and the history of making that, through time spent, gets imbedded in the work is very important. An integral part of the visual identity of the work lies in the traces of previous layers, iterations of ideas, information, colors, drawing, coming through the layers of the painting – all either visible – or palpable through the skin of the painting.”

Kroll’s work has been shown at ACME, (Los Angeles, CA), Lincoln Center (New York, NY), Torrance Art Museum, (Torrance, CA), Jessica Silverman Gallery, (San Francisco, CA), and City Wide Open Studios, (New Haven, CT).

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