Giles Alexander: E=MC2?

30 May - 23 June 2012

Known widely and highly praised throughout Australia, where the British artist is based, Alexander produced a visually compelling and conceptually provocative body of work for E=MC²?  2012.

His exhibition took its cue from the debate around Albert Einstein’s famous mass-energy equation. If the cornerstone of modern physics can be called into question, how stable are our foundations, what can new knowledge mean to that which we hold dear? Alexander’s exquisitely rendered photo-realist oil paintings deal with ‘spaces’ that represent particular world views and power hierarchies, many of which are today being challenged. The show includes religious buildings, parliaments, museums, UN headquarters, science experiments, and planets.  Alexander considers these closely held bastions of civilization with the idea of an existential ‘timeless geometry’ of the heavens.

The result of an intensely active and inquiring mind, Alexander brings in philosophical thought and scientific discovery seamlessly into his paintings. Underpinning his interest in the cultural status of the image represented, is the very materiality of the work, always executed with a virtuoso academic ability. He explores concepts of looking through, at or upon by contrasting contemporary layers of resin and paint over traditionally oil glazed imagery, giving illusionistic depth while at the same time an acute awareness of surface. Alexander never forgets there is an audience for his work and continually assesses their perspective, tilting, shifting and breaking their focus.