Leslie Sacks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of California-based artist, Alex Weinstein’s recent small-scale paintings on paper. Fresh off the heels of his Marfa, Texas exhibition of this dynamic body of work, Weinstein remains immersed in his study of Southern California’s distinctive skies-- a continuation of his Power Line paintings series.
Artist Statement - Power Line Paintings 2016-19
The Power Line Paintings are grounded, like most of my work, in observation. The colors are tuned to the evening hues of the Los Angeles skyline, over the Pacific with all that that implies: languid, surfy sunsets tinted with jet fuel and smog, beach moments - the contemplation of the horizon (the abyss!) and its myriad associative possibilities. Los Angeles is a town of pyrotechnic success and failure—arcing triumph and spectacular burnout.
Looking west one night, and focusing on the colors of the waning light, I realized how gracefully the drooping power lines framed the scene. The lines’ presence was at once irritating in its disruption of a classically sublime vista with human presence and also compositionally very satisfying: the crisp lines hanging across the distant, blurry color-wash provided a visual schism that I liked. While formally gorgeous to behold, the wires also betoken civilization’s efforts to tap into, control and instrumentalize power. There’s a darker reading here too: the landscapes of the world are contentiously and perhaps irrevocably in flux as they are also systematically overrun with wires, pipelines and other devices to master and commodify them: it’s an exchange of energy in literal and metaphorical terms. The paintings are meant to engage both figurative and abstract interpretation. The drawn lines act dually in the work: in formal terms, they are graphic counter-punches to the abstract color fields while in literal terms: as hanging wires across an urban nocturne.
I have been interested in the fusion of traditionally antithetical esthetic concerns for a long while now and making paintings that can function as both figurative and abstract compositions is at the core of this work. It allows me to move along experimenting with exuberant color and flirt with colorfield/minimal/light and space practices while making work grounded, at least in part, in the act of observation. The drawn power lines cinch these paintings effectively: in a narrative capacity, they force a depth of field, foreground/background read. In purely abstract terms they function strictly as sharpened foils to the soft-focus color-washes that dominate the pictures. And finally, in an allegorical capacity, they speak to the current crisis of climate change and the human mark left upon nature.
Alex Weinstein studied at Brown University and trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. Living briefly in New York City, Weinstein worked as an illustrator before moving to Brittany, France. There, Weinstein dedicated himself to painting and concurrently opened a small gallery, Swell, hosting American artists from the renowned Pont Aven School of Art. In 1997, he moved to Venice, California. Entranced by the skyline of the Pacific Ocean and a surfer’s relationship with the water, Weinstein saw the pastoral landscapes he had painted in the North of France morph into seascapes. Weinstein’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in esteemed private and public collections worldwide, including the permanent collection of the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California.
Leslie Sacks Gallery is located in Santa Monica at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Suite B6. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-6. For more information visit lesliesacks.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310 264 0640.
Hi resolution jpeg’s available upon request.