Leslie Sacks Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles based artist, Alex Weinstein. Known for his immersive and enigmatic paintings, Weinstein combines both past and newfound approaches to produce his two latest series, Bursts and Double Negatives. The Burst paintings delve into the sensations of the artist’s near-death experience while surfing. The Double Negatives are contemporary nocturnes that revisit Weinstein’s use of the stacked diptych with a distinctly warmed palette across a horizontal tonal expanse.
Alex Weinstein continues to explore the idea of ambiguous space in the Burst paintings. In keeping with his reductive style of painting, most of the decipherable content has been removed from the canvas/panel. These luminous and amorphous oils result through pure abstraction and mark making. Recalling Weinstein’s traumatic near-death experience while surfing in 1983, the Bursts are engulfing as they evoke the sensation of being underwater and consumed by the sea. One is fully immersed, disoriented and gazing up at the glimmering light of the surface overhead. It is a simultaneously disturbing and awe-inspiring. The paintings are a kind of “Ah-ha!” moment of discovery, exploring deeper themes of dislocation and confusion. Weinstein remarks, “Like seeing stars, getting lost or forgetting important things; where colliding thoughts and impulses smack together and sparks are flying. They are also somehow symbolic of the transient and fragile nature of life itself, like creation myths, like birth and dying, falling in love, impermanence, change, the roiling instability of just being alive. Deep stuff. Of course, they are also just paintings content to live as abstractions; as marks on canvas.”
The Double Negative paintings are based on the blazing ruby-red skies at sunset near LAX (Los Angeles International Airport). Weinstein employs a recurring strategy in relating and stacking two painted panels on top of one another. This compositional choice emphasizes the subtle, yet deep changes that occur as the sun dips below the horizon. The drama in these tonalist elegies of dusky, evening-scapes of the waning light over the Pacific is heightened by the deep red-purple hue and stretched horizontal format. The heated palette nods to the smog filters in the atmosphere; the contaminated urban grit. And the deliberate choice of paint application adheres the pigment to the surface like a spray-on tan. As they fade to black they offer the metaphorical potential of danger, glamorous success (and failure), of spectacle fighting against the void, of ambition running rampant and desperate throughout the city, night ever falling. These are very Los Angeles pictures.
Alex Weinstein studied at Brown University and trained at the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been internationally exhibited and is held in esteemed private and public collections worldwide, including the permanent collection of the Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Weinstein currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Leslie Sacks Gallery is located in the Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica 2525 Michigan Avenue, B6. Gallery hours are Tues-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-6. The gallery is online at lesliesacks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310 264 0640.