Franklin Parrasch Gallery is presenting a select survey of early resin sculpture by Los Angeles based artist Peter Alexander. Alexander worked with cast resin in various formats over a five year period (1966-1971) and each significant stage of the artist’s development with this medium is represented in this show.
In each of these works Alexander puts optical effects to the service of formal pursuits. Suspended pigments within the translucent resin render varying chromatic densities creating a basis for interpreting light and color. The viewer’s focus oscillates between the geometric form and the light and color refracting within it.
Prior to his MFA studies, Alexander trained as an architect under Louis Kahn at the University of Pennsylvania and eventually worked for Richard Neutra in Los Angeles. Alexander’s purist approach to form and consummate focus upon elements of light and space were formulated out of his architectural orientation to sculpture.
Alexander began this series of cast resin sculpture while still a graduate student at UCLA. Liquid resin, a relatively new material at that time, was used to repair surfboard dents. Alexander determined this material could be cast and he eventually augmented and developed new formulas to adapt to the specific requirements of his work.
While jurying a group show artist Billy Al Bengston immediately responded to Alexander’s work and brought it to the attention of Los Angeles dealer Nicholas Wilder. Wilder arranged a solo exhibition at the esteemed Robert Elkon Gallery in New York in 1968 (months before Alexander received his MFA), and this work was consistently exhibited at both Wilder and Elkon through 1972. The toxic nature of resin caused Alexander to abruptly end work on this series in 1971. Though this series has been displayed in a number of exhibitions in the last two decades this is the first solo exhibition of the resin work since the Robert Elkon show in 1972.