John Alexander: A Retrospective

John Alexander: A Retrospective

by Jane Livingston
     
 

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This handsome book presents three decades of artwork by John Alexander (b. 1945), who draws upon the rich imagery of his East Texas heritage to create art with a national impact. A native of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast oil and fishing town, Alexander grew up in a region heavily influenced by Cajun, Creole, and African-American cultures.

Early in his career,

Overview

This handsome book presents three decades of artwork by John Alexander (b. 1945), who draws upon the rich imagery of his East Texas heritage to create art with a national impact. A native of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast oil and fishing town, Alexander grew up in a region heavily influenced by Cajun, Creole, and African-American cultures.

Early in his career, Alexander produced visionary landscapes and feverish, often self-revealing drawings that incorporated the imagery of the bayou. By the mid-1980s, the scale of his oil paintings had increased, and his landscapes had assumed a more hallucinatory character. The authors show how the artist�s frenetic expressionism gave way to an interest in figuration and narrative, and how his approach to genre painting gave voice to his outrage at social injustice. In tracing the evolution of Alexander�s work, the authors also explore the enduring theme of the natural environment and its depredation.

About the Authors
JANE LIVINGSTON is a widely published author and independent art historian.

ALISON DE LIMA GREENE is the curator of contemporary art and special projects at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

ROBERT HUGHES is an award-winning critic and the former art critic for Time magazine.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This retrospective, which is being published to coincide with an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through June 6, is the first all-inclusive overview of John Alexander's work. Heavily influenced by the Gulf Coast oil- and fishing-industry town of Beaumont, TX, where Alexander was born in 1945, these paintings and drawings are as expressive of Audubonesque bayou and marshland flora and fauna as they are of Alexander's own nightmarish memories of his Pentecostal upbringing and the nauseating social injustices that have befallen Cajun- and Creole-country African Americans over time. Primary author Livingston is an independent art historian who has curated exhibitions and published numerous works on topics such as Hispanic American art and women artists. This thoughtfully constructed exhibition catalog, complete with scholarly essays, color plates, a chronology of the artist's life, the artist's exhibition history, and a checklist of works, is recommended for art libraries.
—Jennifer Pollock

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300125061
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

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