Sunday, August 21, 2011

Recent work by Alexander Kroll

Not Yet Titled, 2011 by Alexander Kroll
12" x 10", oil on linen over panel
image via CB1 Gallery

I especially love artists who constantly push their work in new directions. I remember being blown away by Alexander Kroll's work when I first saw it in 2010. The paintings had a tension, as if trapped under a cage of his thick, geometric paint strokes.

Then, earlier this year in dual shows (James Harris Gallery and CB1 Gallery), Kroll removed the cage and opened everything up.

Not Yet Titled, 2011 by Alexander Kroll
12" x 10", oil on linen over panel
image via CB1 Gallery

I asked him a few questions back in February about his (then current) work and he had this to say.
"I think the new paintings are the best things I have ever made. In realizing that I had made an enormous breakthrough in my work, there was a huge feeling of relief, but also of focus and freedom. These are the paintings I want to be making. I don’t need to impose an idea structure on top of them like I was doing in the network paintings. They have their own idea structure, sort of proper to the work. They assert their identity, their meaning or meanings without the need for a superimposed structure."

Not Yet Titled, 2011 by Alexander Kroll
60" x 50", oil on linen over panel
image via CB1 Gallery

I agreed with him back then but I think this new work is even better still. The new paintings have less of his previous impasto paint application but retain his characteristic gorgeous marks. Also, he's expanded the scale of his typically modest-sized paintings--some are as large as 60" x 50".


Twin Tigers Quietly Caressing, 2011 by Alexander Kroll
Oil on linen over panel,
54" x 42"
image via CB1 Gallery