Alex Kanevsky 2014
Exhibition in Dolby Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco. October 1-31, 2015
Kanevsky said in his talk on Thursday, October 1, 2015 that you put an orange in a salad bowl and it goes right to the bottom and sits there. You flip the bowl upside down and the orange is less stable.
The images in the composition imply a story, but he is not interested in this narrative, but rather that the compositions are like Rorschach Ink Blots that act as one pushes their story into the painting, which acts as provocation. He wants us to find something that he did not put in it. Such paintings are the things that worry his parents. In the paintings, we see together, he said. Starting point in tradition, paintings such as these are centered in an environment, cause conversation; things were alive. This is a form of conversation, and he wants it to be intense, psychological, a mirror onto oneself. He seeks to contrast several interiors, provide something without words using a visual language lacking grammar and no clear structure. It should not be cerebral, but moves with feelings and in a language that does not know but is understood. Such paintings remain exciting and interesting over a lifetime. Alone by yourself, you reflect, and don’t change your perception of the world. You get a clear idea, commence a serial monogamy with each piece. It becomes a commitment to something.
Kanevsky said that he knows what he wants but also understands that it is not going to happen; paintings make their own demands. He said we never know we are in love until afterwards, and he likes that which is less than perfect, which allows the viewer to fill it in. He said of a particular problem in one or a number of paintings that he should have stopped after a certain point, but that he loves painting. He viewed chinese scrolls as a method of construction and followed the format of a comic book. He painted a long scroll as a document of someone’s life, followed them upon waking, fighting with the alarm, using the bathroom, and he photographed them the entire day and it turned out to be a dismal failure, but he was addicted. He exemplifies this course of time in the work “Two days and Two Nights on the Farm,” 12′ x 71″, oil on wood, which takes place in New Jersey.
Kavevsky doesn’t know where we are in terms of Post Modern art, he just knows what he wants to do. He said abstract painting said exactly how he felt, but he wanted a middleman and therefore his works include figures.
The following are my responses to a few of his paintings. Theses are ekphrastic or descriptions of his work, imaginary, rhetorical exercises, graphical, and sometimes dramatic. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekphrasis)
You can find images of paintings I am responding to at: http://www.somepaintings.net/2015A/nowalex.html.
36′ x 36″, oil on wood
Fractionalization, web of intrigue, tidbits of a thousand particulants of repressed memory. I see a koi pond of beet juice and stone fruit, the sagging breasts of an older woman in a young girl’s face, the satiny, gelatinous skin of real women, imperfections notwithstanding, reflecting pool in a white light.
The pause in her lips and face, a miracle of desire and impotence, the fatigue of the physical in dreams. She rests against an artist’s wall, the Asian influence: Brooding, puckered, passive, eloquent, and exhausted: She is over it all – this Western gaze, this objectification of beauty, the contemplative heroes, who have done nothing but stare.
Into the weathered exterior of time, she lies, slumping into a liquified state, confetti, water, ornaments, and flowers. I do not have names. I see sky in the nomenclature, atoms commingling with sainthood, the pantheon of a singular eye of another life, a hard life, a rest for one second and thinking about stillness, this transference to another medium.
Two days and Two Nights on the Farm
12′ x 71″, oil on wood
I see it, oil in the landscape, Geisha robe, the small outhouse, the posed female barely clothed. Blue sky darkened and then lit, bowing and then hit. The rain, the streamers, splotches in angularity, every decision stroked on in madness, scraped then pressed, lake and cesspool, land-locked oasis, dirtily rendered, not the Japan we picture in our minds, and perhaps not Japan either. Kanevsky says it is two days in one, New Jersey. The panoramic moment, the scratching and sniffing of settlement, lying about, standing, sitting, and bowing.
18′ x 18″, oil on wood
From the top of the sky, night fall. The slender rifts of cascading rain, thunder and lightening, light in darkness, explosions, palms, fence posts, the signal of red roses, an entire reclining figure bent on persuasion, no secrets, just the pendulum of a panorama of unclothed slopes and crevices. I sense the tropics or maybe this land, that place everyone goes for anonymous sex.
Her fingers are tapping some Morse code, giving directions, perhaps for the artist, perhaps even now, so long ago, so circumstantial, for me, like a horoscope that apparently applies to all cancers, tumor of the brain. What is it about Blue, this painting for boys? The trickery of being alone. It speaks of far away Apocalypse Now.
Lettuce and Fur
20 ‘ x 20″, oil on wood
This one, slouching bodies in red, a model covered over by leaves, dabs of paint, the contemplation of one woman, who looks down. The other, perhaps, is dead. Perhaps, she is sleeping, but her leg is up. There is something in the way the model is looking tired and so on.