Snooze Button

Alex Gardner

October 24–December 7, 2019

MINE PROJECT is proud to present “Snooze Button,” the solo exhibition of young American painter Alex Gardner (b. 1987, Los Angeles). Comprising several latest canvases and works on paper, the exhibition extends the artist’s formal experimentation with figure.  

Working in acrylic, Gardner makes intense and memorable scenes. His entangled ink-black bodies are draped with dramatically folding white cotton separates and posed in pastel environments where the reflections of colour produce subtle gradients and thoughtful tonal shifts.

As in Mannerist paintings, they capture drama with their bodies through the distortion of torsion, a clump of muscle, a knobby knuckle, a languid wrist. Over-articulated fingers and feet contrast with completely featureless smooth faces; expression is only through body language. Gender is hinted at but as with the skin and the clothes and the environments, all cultural signifiers are smoothed over to de-individuate and universalize.

In these paintings the artist charges the familiar with poignancy, highlights the details as important, and paints figures that all genders and races could see themselves in. Mimicking snippets of classical painting—from an El Greco hand to a Pietà carry, a crucifixion foot, a Michelangelo muscle group—he is not just inserting his contemporary identity into art history, but also opening up these art historical perspectives for all viewers to connect with.

This body of work continues to use the figure as the main point of reference formally. Gardner states, “The visual language created thus far has, in many cases, been taken too literal and I am attempting to make a slight shift in these works to better convey the underlying themes of emotions, always in opposing binaries, that exist in perpetuity.”

The artist currently lives and works in Long Beach, California.

Instagram: @artposer

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