Goings on About Town: Art
by Andrea K. Scott
Animal, vegetable, or mineral? The answer’s all three in the wildly imagined, if mannered, new paintings of this mid-career American artist. Ross combines portrait, still-life, and landscape, with a nod to the composite sleight of hand of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, not to mention Mr. Potato Head: mountains stick out their tongues, land masses morph into bullfrogs, and earlike blobs occupy eye sockets. Terrestrial greens and celestial blues dominate Ross’s palette, punctuated by peaky yellows and raw-meat pink and reds (somewhere, Chaim Soutine and Philip Guston are smiling). For all their painterly know-how, there’s a refreshing idiosyncrasy to Ross’s sci-fi grotesqueries, in which strangers and strange lands become one. Through Dec. 6.
Art in Review
by Ken Johnson
Why do painters still paint? One reason is that it’s an efficient way to obsess over the insoluble mind-body problem. People have physical bodies and nonphysical consciousness, but no one knows exactly how they connect. Similarly, paintings are material objects and vehicles of immaterial imagination, and the relationship between those two aspects remains magnetically mysterious.
Hybrids, Mutants: Alexander Ross at David Nolan
by David Brody
The painting and drawing practices of Alexander Ross, always in fundamental opposition, have increasingly been cross-pollinating. The paintings create photorealist illusions, and are thus, to a high degree, preordained. They are mappings of a kind, in which, in Caroll Dunham’s appreciative phrase, Ross “systematizes rendering as a conflation of sonar and paint-by-numbers.” The images they map are purpose-made glossy digital photo-collages of Plasticine sculptures, built in turn upon ideas in the drawings. As for the drawings themselves, they are pure inventions.
Alexander Ross “Recent Paintings”
Heretofore, Ross’s approach has been to mold plasticine hunks, take photos of them, and then paint the results on canvas to create metastasizing alien forms that bridge a gap between abstraction and representation. His new work features a notable twist: realistic-seeming landscapes viewed from on high. Yet they are as recombinant as his previous work—a mash-up of Google Maps and images of the sky borrowed from the backgrounds of Surrealist paintings.
Alex Ross: Artist as Mad Scientist
by Marina Cashdan
This Friday a solo show by artist Alexander "Alex" Ross opens at David Nolan Gallery in New York. Ross is an artist that I feel has been largely overlooked. His paintings and drawings are intriguing oftentimes with a mischievous undertone--images that look as if they could be plucked from a science textbook (cells reproducing under a microscope) but equally elegant and understated, big in color and texture but soft in application. They are representational and at the same time abstract (meets sci-fi), and light-hearted yet equally complex. I sat down with the New York-based artist to talk about his upcoming show and the mad scientist nature of his practice.
Alexander Ross at David Nolan and Marianne Boesky
By David Coggins
As seen in an exhibition of paintings and collages at Marianne Boesky, and of drawings at David Nolan, Alexander Ross's depictions of mysterious forms create a world that defies logic and classification. Of all artists calling their work "Untitled," perhaps Ross does so with the best justification: he doesn't want to give anything away.