Continuing through July 6, 2019
Los Angeles-based Alexandra Grant’s intricate and colorful large scale collage works on paper in “Born to Love” feature pieces from her “Antigone 3000” series. The title of the show comes from a line spoken by the character Antigone in Sophocles’ ancient Greek tragedy of the same name. After she disobeys King Creon’s mandate prohibiting her from mourning and burying her dead brother, she exclaims, “I was born to love not to hate.” Comprised of wax rubbing, acrylic paint, sumi ink and colored pencil on paper mounted on fabric, each work displays a lavishly textured and sensuously lyrical sensibility coupled with a linguistic/concrete poetry-like armature. Chaos and order weave themselves together in Grant’s work like two sides of the same coin.
Colorfully painted collaged grids in each piece suggest maps spun akimbo, while sections of Chevron-shaped vectors emerge and develop within their own energized matrices. Inky drips and painterly drops splatter and stain in pools or smear themselves over and between the collaged stripes and beautifully composed negative spaces. These visceral and viscous bleedings are the binding elements that add an organic accent to the underlying geometric language.
Grant, who frequently collaborates with writers, artists and philosophers, posts this phrase — sometimes boldly and intact, other times a bit hidden or camouflaged with its letters inverted or disarranged — onto drawn tombstones positioned with eerie syncopation. These blocky linguistic markers (i.e., the letters) not only enrich the works visually, they are also accompanied by a statement worth contemplating and measuring oneself against. It makes the ancient words is as meaningful today, if not more so, as nearly 3,000 years ago when Antigone was given voice to say them. “Born to Love” strikes an invigorating balance between the playful and the profound.