Century of the Self at Lora Reynolds Gallery
January 18 – March 15, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 18, 2014, 6-8pm
Lora Reynolds is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Alexandra Grant, Century of the Self, organized by independent curator Sarah C. Bancroft.
Alexandra Grant uses language, literature, and exchanges with writers as the basis for her paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Grant explores philosophical concepts of identity in her new text-based body of work, Century of the Self. The presentation of this series at Lora Reynolds Gallery is comprised of vibrantly colored paintings, works on paper, and a floor installation made from recycled plastic. Grant’s intimate as well as heroically scaled artworks, combined with poignant textual detail, delve into questions about how we define ourselves, who the ‘Other’ is, and the origins of the interior voices that fill our unconscious and shape our identities.
Grant is known as a ‘radical collaborator’—it is collaboration that shapes what she does outside of the studio as much as within it. Grant has worked with writers as diverse as professor, author, and hypertext pioneer Michael Joyce; actor Keanu Reeves; and French feminist writer, philosopher, and playwright Hélène Cixous.
Inspired by Adam Curtis’s BBC Four documentary of the same name, Grant’s textual references in Century of the Self are drawn from literary sources including Sophocles’s tragic play and character Antigone; work by the writer, poet, and activist Audre Lorde; seminal psychological texts by Sigmund Freud and his followers; and cultural movements that probed the unconscious mind, including Surrealism and Feminism. Grant does not claim to have found the ‘Self,’ rather she maps—through collage, Rorschach patterns, and textual quotations—what is a constant search.
Alexandra Grant’s Century of the Self is an ongoing project that has taken a number of different forms. It was produced as a line of ready-to-wear clothing in collaboration with the brand Clover Canyon; presented as a billboard project on top of LAXART in Los Angeles; and exhibited as part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division’s (LAND) exhibition, Painting in Place. Recent works from the series were included in the group exhibition Drawn to Language at University of Southern California’s Fisher Museum of Art in fall of 2013. The exhibition at Lora Reynolds Gallery includes four new paintings—fresh from the artist’s studio—and several works recently exhibited at the Fisher Museum.
Grant’s first solo museum exhibition was in 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Grant has participated in numerous other major exhibitions, including the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art; The Artist’s Museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Drawing Surrealism, also at LACMA. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore), the Center for Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv), and other institutions in the United States and abroad.
Born in 1973 in Fairview Park, Ohio, Grant lives and works in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College (BA, 1995) and California College of the Arts (MFA, 2000). She has taught at CalArts, Cal State Northridge, and Art Center College of Design, and has received grants/awards from the California Community Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation.
Sarah C. Bancroft is an Austin-based independent curator and writer and serves as assistant director of curatorial affairs at the art initiative Fluent~Collaborative and its exhibition venue testsite. Prior to her move to Texas in 2013, Bancroft held curatorial positions at the Orange County Museum of Art from 2008 to 2013 and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York) from 2000 to 2005. In addition to her critically acclaimed traveling exhibition Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series (2012), Bancroft curated Two Schools of Cool (2011) and organized the 2010 California Biennial at OCMA. One of the projects she curated in 2009 was Video Work by Gao Shiquang and Chen Qiulin at OCMA as part of the Ancient Paths, Modern Voices China Festival produced by Carnegie Hall and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. At the Guggenheim, she co-curated James Rosenquist: A Retrospective (2003). Bancroft received her MA in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art (London). Her area of specialization is modern and contemporary art from the 1950s to present. She is a bike commuter, an urban hiker, and lives in Austin with her husband David.
Top: Self and Other and Century of the Self (2) and (3), 2013. Middle: Century of the Self (2) and (3), 2013 and Self (I was born to love), after Antigone and Audre Lorde, 2012. Bottom: Self (on the verge of), 2013 and Self and Other, 2013. Above: Site/Self (projections) and Self (I was born to love not to hate), 2012. Photos: Colin Doyle.