Alexander Puz

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Artist Statement

I am interested in a painterly mode of communication that can be understood by any person regardless of specific class, gender or cultural interests. This approach is informed by my experiences as a suicide survivor and former hotline volunteer. I have had repeated, intimate contact with the difficult, painful uncertainty of contemporary subjective experiences and am interested in developing a language that speaks to all walks of life. I view my own fathers suicide as a rebellion against the subtle, systematic control in America and because of his transgression, I have become fascinated with the rules and procedures that account for both tragedy and beauty in society. The experience of isolation and alienation is prevalent among so many disparate people that to understand and explore an unconditional language through paint is deeply compelling.

My canvases are not faces, landscapes or bodies, I work with the actualities of painting. I believe abstract art is emancipatory and unifying through its focus on objectivity. Color, line, form, texture and value are the distinct, concrete elements that I configure into novel painted situations. By isolating the character of each of these elements, they may operate on their own terms as much as possible. These elemental marks align on a square grid, to produce a series of hard-edge tonal abstractions. Each painting begins with a composition drawing mapped out on graph paper. I seek to maximize occupied space while honoring a strict ruleset that determines the behavior of each component. Once the negative of the painting is set, I am able to make the intuitive choices of scale, color and progression. At times, a second inset grid appears.

Following the logic of mid-60’s conceptual art, each move in my painting is plotted and executed towards maximum clarity of intent. Obfuscation is a tool of oppression made apparent in overwhelming student loan debt, unattainable working visas, improperly prescribed medication, housing discrimination and beyond. The benign principle: information is dignity is meaning.

Blue prints, screen resolution tests and toy labyrinths are spiritual relatives of my paintings. Each piece is a diagram and a record, a prescription and a description; in essence: You need this, you are this. These models of experience are operating on two levels as image and program both looked at and inside of. It is in this way my work can function apart from the cultural melee, content to continue or combust on its own abstract terms. When the elements of line, color, value, texture and form coalesce, a system of latent tendencies become manifest and the underlying organizational principle becomes clear: compromise is composure.

Measurement is essential in my work. It is the normalizing factor that allows these universal elements to coexist in paint space. Adhering to the rigid schema of imperial measure any wanton expressivity is flattened into pure productivity, a self-referentiality that can be read as a metaphor for the endless labors of our digital existence. Through painting I ask: Is there such a thing as synthetic freedom?

CV

EDUCATION

2014 BFA City University of New York, Hunter

SOLO SHOWS 

2017 Silks Building, Void Set Beach Studio Show, Long Island City, NY

GROUP SHOWS 

2017
Plaxall Gallery, Spring Members Showcase, Long Island City, NY
2016
Space 776, BOS Salon Show, Bushwick, NY
SAAC Juried Art Competition, El Dorado, AR
Rochester Museum of Contemporary Art, 6X6X2016, Rochester, NY
The Greenpoint Gallery, Annual Salon Show, New York, NY
The Shirt Factory Gallery, Small Works Show 2016, Glen Falls, NY
2015
Catalyst Gallery, Small Works Show, Beacon, NY
TvH Projects, Bathroom Myths, Online Exhibition
MoMA P.S.1, Bob & Robert Smith: Art Amnesty, New York, NY
2014
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, “Spring Thesis”, New York, NY
205 Hudson, Hunter College Open Studios, New York, NY
2013
AHAH 15th Floor Gallery, “Art Historians at Hunter Pop Up Show”, NY, NY
2010
Hunter College “Undergraduate Sculpture Show”, New York, NY

PUBLICATIONS  AND PRINT

2017
Lunch Money Print, Print Edition, New London, CT
2016
No Pop Gallery, Pants Destroyer Session I, New Haven, CT
2015
Starry Night Artists to Look Out For Catalog, Starry Night Programs
2014
BFA Spring Thesis Catalogue, Leubsdorf Gallery
2010
Olive Tree Review Spring, Selection of Paintings
2009
Olive Tree Review Fall, Selection of illustrations

RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCES

2017
Racine Berkow International Fine Art Transport, Art Handler
2015
Robert Swain Studio, Assistant
Hubert Gallery, Art Handler
Fischbach Gallery Chelsea, Gallery Assistant
2014
Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior Curated by Phong Bui, Install Assistant
Kara Walker, A Subtlety or The Marvelous Sugar Baby, Exhibition Volunteer