Alex Anderson. Not Romantic

25 May 2023 – 30 Jun 2023

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Not Romantic, the New York City debut of Los Angeles-based artist Alex Anderson. Working entirely in ceramics, Anderson creates both freestanding sculptures and wall-based “paintings” that employ his technical mastery of the delicate medium to visualize contemporary cultural excess and his own complex lived experience.

Anderson specialized in ceramic arts in both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and gained a unique command of the medium through additional studies at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China and the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, which he attended through a Fulbright Grant. Grounded in this expansive and cross-cultural knowledge of ceramics, Anderson’s work celebrates a medium and an aesthetic vocabulary that has long been pejoratively described as “decorative” in the Western canon. For Anderson, shine, surface, and pattern are not trivial adornments, but queer signifiers of meaning.

In his latest body of work, Anderson examines the modern ideal of romance as a potentially toxic compulsion. Luxury objects decay and drip, flowers wilt and break, and cute cats have blood in their teeth.  Hearts and roses, perhaps the most iconic symbols of love, recur throughout the exhibition in various states of mutilation.  Yet instead of fully condemning or pathologizing pleasure-seeking tendencies, Anderson tempts the viewer to indulge in his aesthetic extravagance.  

These works draw upon histories of art and design from around the globe, including the Baroque, Surrealism, Pattern and Decoration, and Japanese pop art.  Always irreverent, Anderson combines these references with idioms from African American vernacular and pop culture.  The resulting melange of alluring colors and surfaces, witty allusions, and unsettling imagery is impossible to look away from.

Alex Anderson (b. 1990, Seattle, WA) uses the delicate medium of ceramics as his main vehicle to explore the intersections of the sublime experiences that make up both the man-made and natural worlds, as well as deeper, more complicated issues of race and cultural representation. His artworks combine a dexterity in the medium with a confluence of baroque imagery and compositions, Japanese pop art references, and current contemporary fashion and design trends in order to probe the depths of reality, illusion and identity. 

Anderson received his Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and Chinese from Swarthmore College and his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Anderson previously studied at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China and was awarded a Fulbright Grant in affiliation with the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, where he continued his studies in ceramic art. His work has been exhibited internationally, and across the United States, including at the Orange County Museum of Art (Costa Mesa, CA), Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY), The Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, CA), the American Museum of Ceramic Art (Pomona, CA), Human Resources (Los Angeles, CA), Deli Gallery (New York, NY), Gavlak Gallery (Los Angeles, CA; Palm Beach, FL), and Jeffery Deitch Gallery (New York, NY), amongst others. His work has been reviewed by Artsy, Artforum, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Cultured, the Los Angeles Times, amongst others. He is represented by Sargent’s Daughters. 

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Alex Anderson


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