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Indepth Arts News:

"Contemporary Painter John Alexander"
2007-12-20 until 2008-03-16
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington, DC, USA United States of America

John Alexander (b. 1945) is internationally renowned for his paintings and drawings, which convey humor, rage and a robust appreciation of the human and natural world. "John Alexander: A Retrospective," on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from December 21, 2007 through March 16, 2008, is the first full-scale examination of the artist's three-decade career. The exhibition encompasses works from the late 1970s to the present. It includes powerful landscapes and intimate studies of birds and plants; it also presents many of his incisive, satirical commentaries on politics, religion and the human condition. The exhibition features 41 paintings and 27 works on paper. Jane Livingston, author and independent art historian, is the curator of the exhibition, which is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Eleanor Jones Harvey, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is the coordinating curator in Washington.

"John Alexander's lifelong fascination with the natural world connects his work with subjects of deep meaning throughout America—what land means and how it reflects subtle changes in our world," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. "I am hopeful that visitors to this retrospective will find these same themes of identity and respect for the land in works by 19th-century landscape painters hanging in the museum's permanent collection galleries."

"Whether puncturing inflated egos or studying nature, Alexander has created a body of work that reflects his own restless appraisal of the world around him," said Harvey. "Ultimately, his paintings and drawings stand as a passionate elegy to the earth as he knows it."


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