Alexander Kroll

Alexander Kroll
May 22 to June 28, 2014
Reception for the artist: Thursday, May 22nd 6 to 8PM

James Harris Gallery is pleased to present our fourth exhibition of new work by Alexander Kroll. The exhibition occupies the gallery space in its entirety and includes both large and small scale paintings along with works on paper. Kroll considers painting to be a dynamic intercourse between artist, object, and viewer. This exhibition titled “Imaginary” is a commentary on the creative process of abstraction and how it demonstrates a dialogue about actual and fictive spaces.

The three large scale paintings (each measuring 84” x 96”) present a collision of ideas at the core of Kroll’s artistic practice; a presentation of the canvas where events occur to investigate the poetics of pictorial space. For the artist, revealing the act of painting is important, allowing the viewers to see through layers and “into” the painting process. Both his paintings and works on paper are a merging of gesture and architecture, where the fluidity of one balances the structure of the other.

The support structure for the painted surface is important for the artist; areas of raw canvas are often left exposed to ignite a conversation between the tactility and energy of the painted gesture and the conceptual preconditions of making a painting. In all three large works, Kroll has used thinned paint to saturate and stain the canvas to meld the viscous nature of the medium with the warp and weft of the canvas itself. The artist creates a narrative of experience through layers of painting—hard edge shapes, drawn lines, illusionistic gradients, and expressive brushwork in arresting colors— which activate the composition and create movement throughout.

Kroll refers to himself as a “lifelong student of the technology of painting,” continuously exploring the creative process and allowing the paint in each of his works to push outwards. This exploratory push and pull is featured in the work “Concept Album.” In this piece, Kroll has created an emotionally charged visual experience in which thinned black washes stain the canvas, offsetting carefully choreographed broad strokes of white paint; arcing calligraphic lines emanate out from the center, while deep blue, red and yellow brushwork anchors the painted surface in a push and pull of horizontal movement.

This exhibition shows Kroll has progressed into more complex strategies of abstraction. Kroll’s paintings and works on paper articulate a awareness of the role that perception and expression play in the experience of painting. The question of how paint functions physically drives the core of Kroll’s aesthetic practice. Each work confounds expectations and provokes another painting and a new set of challenges. Painting thus, for the artist, is a conversation in which one mark leads to the next; and one completed work leads to another.

Alexander Kroll currently has a solo exhibition at Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami, Florida. His work has been exhibited at CB1 Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), ACME, (Los Angeles, CA), Lincoln Center (New York, NY), Torrance Art Museum, (Torrance, CA), Jessica Silverman Gallery, (San Francisco, CA), The UCLA New Wight Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), The Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design (Los Angeles, CA), The Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA) and many others. Kroll received his BA from Yale University followed by MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2008. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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