Revisiting the Figure
October 3 - November 1, 2014
First Friday Gallery Walk: October 3, 6-10pm
Revisiting the Figure is a series of figurative, mixed media sculptures that Alexander has been working on for twenty years. Titled Memento Mori (remember [that you have] to die), the sculptures are made with fired stoneware, branches, fabric, and found materials. In contrast to his carved stone sculptures, the Memento Mori pieces are relatively more vulnerable, both in their materials and their affect.
“Doing a lot of what I do, the stone work, I think of whether it is archival, how long things will be around. My Memento Mori series addresses how we won’t be around,” says Alexander. Unlike his commissioned, carved plaques and memorials that are crafted to remain intact for hundreds of years, the Memento Mori sculptures are not perfectly symmetrical or neat. Rather, they convey raw emotion with attenuated limbs and grasping, spindly fingers.
Ironically, he creates them over a longer time frame, as there is no deadline imposed. Alexander applies his many years of anatomy training to shaping and then pressing each piece of clay together so each gesture from his hand remains visible. “All art is an abstraction to some point,” he says. “Artists may first interpret what’s actually there as best as he or she can, and then spend the rest of their life pulling it apart. That’s the mindset of how you’re building makes its way in to the work.”
Paris Alexander was born and raised in New York City where he studied art from early childhood. Since establishing himself in NC, Alexander’s work has been exhibited widely including galleries, universities, and museums, with numerous public and private commissions. His work is included in the collection of Wake Med, Duke University, Saks Fifth Avenue, the R.C. Kessler Collection, SAS Institute, former president Bill Clinton, Senator Bob Dole, and many others.
Paris is also a well-known instructor in sculpture, drawing, and anatomy. Besides teaching privately, he has been an instructor for several NC Arts councils, the Artspace Arts and Outreach Programs, and the NC Museum of Art Outreach Program.show at Drewelowe, Iowa City, IA.