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Indepth Arts News:

"Visions, Vows and That Old Time Religion: Paintings by John Alexander"
2002-03-23 until 2002-04-21
McKinney Avenue Contemporary
Dallas, TX, USA United States of America

The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC) will present Visions, Vows and That Old Time Religion, an exhibition of paintings by New York-based Texas artist John Alexander from the decade 1978 to 1988.

John Alexander is among the most internationally recognized artists from Texas. Like other post-war giants -- Robert Rauschenberg and Julian Schnabel come to mind -- he has made his reputation outside of Texas, all the while maintaining longstanding relationships with dealers, collectors, and art professionals in his home state. Yet, unlike Rauschenberg and Schnabel, Alexander is still considered to be a Texas artist, although he has lived and worked full time in New York for more than twenty years.

Perhaps because of this, North Texans have been treated to regular exhibitions of his art as it has evolved since his graduation from Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts in 1970. It is now time to look back at the fertile decade of his work from 1978, the year before his first New York exhibition, to 1988, when he was given his first museum retrospective at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and his first European exhibition in Paris, France.

Richard Brettell, a founding board member of the McKinney Avenue Contemporary and Professor of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, has selected a small group of paintings made in that decade from public and private collections throughout the nation. The larger gallery at The MAC will be devoted to the frenetic action paintings of the late 1970s and early 1980s and the smaller gallery to later works in which the human figure predominates. The MAC will publish a catalogue of the exhibition, which will include a critical essay by Brettell, reproductions and catalogue entries on each painting, and a sampler selection of criticism of Alexander's work during that period by critics like Barbara Rose, Donald Kuspit, Jane Livingston, Michael Brenson, and Robert Hughes. The paintings will be interpreted within the boom/bust timeframe of their production and as a reflection of the painter's own anxieties and ambitions. Particular attention will be paid to the painter‚s inventive titles and their tense interplay with representation.

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