Alexandra Grant

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Alexandra Grant (born 1973 in Fairview Park, Ohio) is a Los Angeles-based artist,[1] who uses language and exchanges with writers as a source for imagery in sculpture,[2] painting, drawing, and video.

Life[edit]

Grant graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in 1994, and from California College of the Arts with a MFA in 2000.[3]

Grant’s first solo exhibition at a museum was in 2007, organized by curator Alma Ruiz, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). A catalog from the exhibition features Grant’s large-scale works on paper, an essay on Grant’s work by Ruiz, and an essay that inspired Grant by Hélène Cixous the French writer and philosopher. [citation needed]

Grant is known as a ‘radical collaborator’ – the longest of her exchanges being with the pioneering writer of hypertext fiction, Michael Joyce. The paintings and sculpture based on Joyce’s texts (using them as scores or scripts to interpret rather than follow) have been the subject of at least three series: the Ladder Quartet (shown at MOCA in 2007), the Six Portals (shown at Honor Fraser gallery in 2008), and Bodies (shown at Honor Fraser gallery in 2010).

In early 2011, Gerhard Steidl published the Ode to Happiness, her first collaboration with Keanu Reeves. It was Grant’s first artist book and Reeves’ first book as a writer.[4]

In 2013, Grant collaborated on twin series of exhibitions with Cixous, based on that writer’s book Philippines. “Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest” took place first at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, and at Mains d’Oeuvres in Saint-Ouen, France.1 Hundreds of people joined Grant in creating large-scale drawings of Cixous’s novel, which touched on many themes including telepathy in Cixous, Jacques Derrida, and Sigmund Freud’s work. Grant and Cixous spoke about their telepathic relationship in 2013 as part of a conversation from Mains d’Oeuvres to Nottingham Contemporary [2] in 2016, 18th Street Arts Center published the “Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest” to thank the many participants in the project, a catalog which includes photographs of both exhibitions, and essays by Cixous, Grant, curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas, Robert Nashak, and a transcription of the 2013 conversation with Cixous.

Grant continued her stylistic evolution in 2013, when she began showing works from her “Century of the Self” works, first at USC’s Fisher Museum in 2013’s “Drawn to Language, at Lora Reynold’s Gallery in Austin, TX in 2014,[3] in 2015 at the exhibition “We Must Risk Delight: 20 Artists from Los Angeles” at the Venice Biennial and in a two-person exhibition with Steve Roden at the Pasadena Museum of California Art “These Carnations Defy Language.”[5] These works are inspired by the documentary film “Century of the Self” by BBC documentarian Adam Curtis.

In 2015, Grant began exhibiting her current body of work in painting “Antigone 3000” inspired by the Greek myth, and specifically a phrase in Sophocles’s play where Antigone confronts her uncle Creon—the king—and says, “I was born to love not to hate.” Works from Antigone 3000 have been shown at the Barnsdall Art Center, when Grant won the City of Los Angeles Mid-Career Artist Award (COLA) in 2015 and most recently in 2017 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) as part of the exhibition “L.A. Exuberance: Recent Gifts by Artists.”

In 2015, Grant did a residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art which lead to the completion of a documentary film about returning a stolen tombstone to rural Nebraska.[6]

In 2016, Grant and Reeves reunited for their second collaboration, Shadows, a book and suite of photographic images printed by Steidl in Germany. The photographs were exhibited at ACME Gallery in Los Angeles, and Ochi Gallery in Sun Valley, ID.[7]

Also in 2016, Grant participated in the 20th Bienal de Arte Paiz, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where she collaborated with the poet Vania Vargas on a large-scale participatory drawing project, “ghost town.”

Grant’s work is in public collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), MOCA (Los Angeles), the Orange County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art (Austin) and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Grant is also recognized for her philanthropic grantLOVE project (www.grantlove.com), which produces and sells original artworks and editions to benefit artist projects and arts non-profits. The grantLOVE project has supported arts organizations as diverse as the Heart of Los Angeles (Visual Arts) in Los Angeles and Union for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barry, Robert (November 26, 2013). "Forêt Intérieure reviewed on Frieze.com by Robert Barry". Frieze Magazine. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Grant, Alexandra (May 1, 2013). "On Telepathy and Philippines: A Conversation with Alexandra Grant and Hélène Cixous". Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Alexandra Grant | New American Paintings". newamericanpaintings.com. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  4. ^ Miller, Ken (March 2, 2011). "Q+A: Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves Collaborate, Happily". Art in America. 
  5. ^ Mizota, Sharon (August 28, 2015). "Two artists try to portray the indescribable at Pasadena Museum of California Art". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Logan, Casey (August 4, 2015). "Baby girl's missing headstone returned to Nebraska, 70 years later". Omaha World Herald. 
  7. ^ Daswani, Kavita (February 24, 2016). "Keanu Reeves stars in the art book 'Shadows' by L.A. artist Alexandra Grant". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]