ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Reactivity is a solo exhibition of recent works by Alex Markwith, showcasing both the artist’s painting and sculptural practices. Despite differences in material and methodology, the paintings and sculptures occur side by side in the studio, with some works created as a direct response to others.
Intuitively painted and constructed, the works attempt to access the subconscious as a bridge between maker and viewer. Stylistic reference points include street art, arte povera and abstract expressionism, albeit filtered through a supersaturated, post-modern aesthetic. Conceptually, Reactivity questions the boundaries of painting and sculpture as mediums, seeking to discover new forms of expression within these traditional artforms.
The title “Reactivity” references the improvisational nature of Markwith’s practice, in which the artist works intuitively and spontaneously. Each gesture is a reaction or response to the previous. The paintings are built up in layers mixing both fast and slow movements. Sometimes a light wash is applied, and wet paint is mixed directly on the canvas. Other times the entire canvas is covered at once in a continuous yet irregular spray can mark, at once carefree, assertive and delicate. Some paintings are finished in the course of one session, whereas others develop over a period of months.
The sculptures begin outside the studio, as Markwith collects objects from the ground such as construction supplies and branches from the forest, each chosen specifically from the ground where it has fallen. The natural curves and irregular shapes of the branches contrast with hard-edge pieces of machine-cut plywood or plastic. Draped fabric and chains add another layer of texture, creating complex and intricate visual relationships. Sometimes referred to as “totems”, the sculptural works merge architectural and organic forms, blending natural and artificial. These works hang on the wall like paintings, but their material presence creates an entirely different relationship to the viewer.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alex Markwith (b. 1988, USA) is an American visual artist based in Helsinki, where he moved in 2020 after nine years in New York City. Known for his abstract, mixed media paintings and sculptures, Markwith has held solo exhibitions in New York, Paris and Helsinki and has participated in over forty group exhibitions worldwide. Recent and upcoming projects include a brand collaboration with Ravintola Fat Lizard Helsinki City and an exhibition in the Original Sokos Hotel Tripla lobby scheduled 8.7 – 6.10.2022.
Markwith earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design, during which he completed the European Honors Program in Rome, Italy. His work is included in numerous private collections and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This exhibition is supported by funds from Taike.
Church Stick 18
Suomi / Finland