David Alexander | Landscape Considerations and Imagined Dialogues

David Alexander at Bau-Xi Gallery

David T. Alexander | Landscape Considerations and Imagined Dialogues
October 5-19, 2019
340 Dundas St West, Toronto - Main Floor Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 5, 2:00 - 4:00pm

Throughout his fifty-year career, David Alexander has created powerful works depicting the Canadian landscape, as well as abstracted water reflections bursting with intensity and drama. His varied subjects are portrayed through the use of unconventional washes, gestural brushstrokes, and carefully placed scrapes. The final paintings are imbued with an energetic originality and authenticity.

The paintings in this show illustrate Alexander’s continued fascination with craggy, rough, shadowed wilderness. Peculiar trees stand like twisted scarecrows; impassible thickets seem full of mystery and intrigue, and pools of water mirror the sky and trees beyond view and invite us to look deeper.

David Alexander is deeply motivated by landscape. “Wandering” through the land is intrinsic to his process and allows him to thoroughly experience the place he is exploring. While wandering, Alexander takes photographs and creates sketches to document his trips, which develops an even deeper understanding of the land. Coupled with his personal engagement with the location, this documentation serves to capture the feeling of a place as opposed to helping aid a literal translation of the landscape.

Returning to this immersive experience several times – sometimes after many years – allows Alexander to witness the effect a different perspective, changing light, as well as human and environmental impact, can have on the land. This deep knowledge of the landscape is successfully conveyed in his paintings. The nature of Alexander’s line and brushstroke application invites the viewer to look closely to examine the scene thoroughly. We are given the opportunity to absorb the artist’s impression of the land, and also carefully explore the scene ourselves.

As an audience, we experience a David Alexander painting as if we are being told a story – a combination of narrative and record. This story is revealed to the viewer as their eyes journey around the painting’s surface, guided by Alexander’s distinctive and uniquely recognizable strokes.

Through exploration and intimate study, Alexander’s lyrical work transcends the specificity of location and manifests as something new and entirely his own. Part refinement, part embellishment, the interactions occurring in his paintings make them an event rather than strictly a landscape. The final pieces in this collection beautifully express the drama of the subject Alexander explored.


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