Mark Alexander, a British creative hailing from Horsham, UK, embarked on his artistic voyage later in life than most. Without the initial advantage of formal artistic training, he tenaciously pursued and attained a BFA degree from the esteemed Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University in 1996, charting an unconventional path to his craft. His artistic endeavors have graced the walls of prestigious venues across the globe, including the iconic Saatchi Gallery and the venerable Royal Academy in London, the avant-garde Broadway 1602 Gallery in New York, the culturally significant Centre Pompidou Foundation in Paris, the artistic haven of Kunsthalle in Basel, and the distinguished Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
Bode Museum Berlin . Photo credit . Humphrey Ocean.
From 1770 to 2020, Hotel Beethoven provided a journey through popular culture and conceptual art. Showcasing manuscripts, instruments, and works by artists like Antoine Bourdelle, Andy Warhol, Katie Paterson, and John Baldessari, it offered a unique blend of eras and perspectives.
The exhibition showcased diverse artworks. Influenced by digital shifts, pieces reflect changing societal perceptions, predominantly through analog methods including work from the Vermilion Sands Series.
Since its establishment in the year 1769, the Summer Exhibition has been a yearly celebration of artistic expression, featuring a diverse array of creations spanning different mediums and genres. What sets it apart is its status as the world's most ancient open submission exhibition, offering an opportunity for artists, both emerging and established, to submit their work for consideration.
The exhibition at Galerie Bastian showcased works that delved into the intersection of reality and its portrayal in painting, navigating the illusion between fact and fiction. "At the Still Point" aimed to highlight the disparity between the Latin definition of factum as "action", "anything done", "an event" or "achievement" and the contemporary understanding of the term as "that which is true". The pieces engaged in a dialogue centered around landscapes and interiors, exploring the prototype and its alteration.
Herd of Sheffield, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Sheffield, UK
Mark's Elephant was one of 58 large elephants that, together with 72 small elephants, comprised the Herd of Sheffield. His contribution was situated just inside the entrance to the Millennium Gallery. It drew inspiration from the artist Henri Matisse, who was said to have had a fondness for elephants.
Beethoven im Blick moderner und historischer Kunst - Kulturhaus Zanders Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
Beethoven viewed through the lens of both modern and historical art featuring Credo.
The Lost Museum - The Berlin Sculpture and Paintings Collections 70 Years After World War II Bode Museum, Berlin, Germany.
The "Lost Museum" exhibition highlighted the 1945 flak tower fires and the fate of the affected artworks. Plaster casts and photos showcased lost masterpieces from Berlin collections. The exhibit also delved into the controversial restoration of war-damaged art, a topic influenced by changing trends.
Green Flower Street, curated by Ariel Roger-Paris, Tatiana Kourochkina Galleria D’Art, Istanbul, Turkey-
Part of the Bicentennial showing Ground and Underground and Sand Madonnas.
PLAY – The Frivolous and The Serious, Collectors Room/Olbricht Foundation, Berlin
The exhibition was the outcome of a partnership between the Olbricht Foundation and two students from the Master's program 'Curating the Contemporary' at London Metropolitan University. This effort was in cooperation with the Whitechapel Gallery, London, under the guidance of Nico de Oliveira.
powerFlower, Galerie ABTART, Stuttgart, Germany
The magic of flowers in contemporary art showcasing Via Negativa.
Ars Apocalipsis – Kunst and Kollaps, curated by Malte Boecker, Kunstverein Kreis Veerhoffhaus, Gütersloh, Germany
The exhibition displayed the seldom-seen woodcut series "Apocalipsis cum figuris: The Secret Revelation of St. John" by Albrecht Dürer. This 500-year-old series, from its original 1511 edition.
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London
Commencing its legacy in 1769, the Summer Exhibition has consistently curated an annual showcase of artistic endeavors spanning a wide spectrum of mediums and genres. What truly distinguishes it is its unique distinction as the globe's oldest open submission exhibition, embracing artists of all backgrounds and experiences, granting them the chance to have their work considered for display.
The Library of Babel – In and out of Place, 176 Zabludowicz Collection, London
With over 200 pieces on display, "The Library of Babel / In and Out of Place" was the most extensive showcase of works from the Zabludowicz Collection. Anna-Catharina Gebbers presented a salon-style exhibition, a format that highlighted the intentionally overwhelming assortment of contemporary art forms, spanning painting, photography, sculpture, and video.
In its 2010 spring exhibition, New York’s Moss showcased a celebration of boundary-pushing and rule-breaking. “Poetic License” highlighted designers who epitomized this spirit. Each had pioneered new forms, processes, and methodologies, venturing beyond what was previously accomplished in various media. The first showing of Shield of Achilles.
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London
Since its inception in 1769, the Summer Exhibition has showcased works annually across various mediums and genres from both budding and renowned artists. It holds the distinction of being the world's oldest open submission exhibition, allowing anyone to submit their artwork for potential display.
Painting on the Move, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland
The exhibition's focus was on the evolving narrative of the art of painting throughout the 20th century. While frequently challenged and its conventional values as the premier art genre questioned, it was repeatedly rediscovered and reinvented.
The Galleries Show, Royal Academy, London
In collaboration with 20 of the leading London commercial art galleries, the museum offered a concise view of contemporary art in 2002, demonstrating their significant role in establishing London's position in the international contemporary art scene and in encouraging and supporting artists.
Provocative masterpieces by iconic photographers, realist artists, and sculptors — including the likes of Tierney Gearon, Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol — ignited spirited debates on the limits of aesthetic acceptability during their display.
Black (with Lucia Nogueria), Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London
Mark Alexander's artistry delves into the depths of history and human emotion, melding past icons like the Shield of Achilles and Van Gogh’s Dr. Gachet with a contemporary vision. His pieces challenge our understanding of time, history, and personal identity, culminating in a profound commentary on temporal existence.
Philosopher Malcolm Bull delves deep into the relationship between light, darkness, and artistic expression. Drawing references from multiple artists and their works, it contemplates the contrast and duality of illumination and obscurity. Mark Alexander's repetitive style emphasises the challenge of finding meaning amidst the repetition of artistic motifs.
American Bog addresses cultural overexposure, contrasting with themes of the garden in Ground and Unground. Amidst the US's challenges from wars and recession, it aims to refresh overused icons and forge a new symbolic language.
The boy's quest for immortality through art results in his unforeseen frozen state, reminiscent of historic figures' doomed aspirations. Mirroring Caravaggio's Medusa, the artist uses his own childhood image to depict the dangers of ego and self-centeredness, urging a shift towards genuine reality.
Rot has a brutal beauty all of its own. That is the startling contention of British artist Mark Alexander’s grungy, gorgeous series of recent paintings that portend the future rediscovery of relics from a bygone America – as if salvaged from the sludgy depths of a prehistoric peat bog.....
Alexander’s smouldering reinvention of Vincent van Gogh’s poignant portrait of his physician Dr Gachet (which has not been seen in public since its owner, the Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito – who died in 1996 – threatened to be cremated with the post-Impressionist canvas) is a masterclass in black’s enduring capacity to resurrect the spirit of physical loss....
Mark Alexander is an enigma. He has allegedly made fewer than two dozen paintings in his career, and this show has sold out, the paintings going for around £200,000 each. But is it also true that he has a personal chef, and that he's been locked away in his Berlin studio under orders to paint? Whatever....
Black is where art begins. From the moment mankind felt an urge to scrawl on walls, it reached for black. Analysis of early cave drawings reveals that our paleolithic ancestors forged from fire the first tints, smelting from bone a charcoal pigment that gave art legs. Every subsequent application of black in cultural history echoes its ritualistic origins and resonates with a sense of resurgence: burnt skeletons into living symbol.
Humphrey Ocean interviews Mark Alexander on the BBC podcast "Only Artists." Ocean, a prominent artist with National Portrait Gallery features, once joined Ian Dury's band. Alexander transitioned from silversmithing and aerospace to painting, notably recreating Van Gogh's Dr Gachet in monochrome
Moving beyond the realms of biography, artistic methods, and the timeline of prevalent 'isms', Grovier presents a fresh narrative where we glean insights directly from the artworks rather than just their backstories.
This insightful and approachable guide showcases the creations of seventy contemporary artists, each harnessing the human figure as a tool to interpret and understand our world. "Picturing People" unravels this renewed interest, highlighting the significance of the figure to these creative minds.
This book offers a riveting glimpse into the standout pieces by emerging British artists over ten years, all curated from the unique perspective of British advertising tycoon and art aficionado, Charles Saatchi.
This book compiles a rich collection of essays from Craig Raine, a writer possessing an astute critical prowess. As a poet, critic, novelist, Oxford scholar, and editor, Raine casts his formidable insights on an array of topics, from Kafka to Koons and Beckett to Babel.
Join the writer as he takes you on a curated journey of must-see paintings in one's lifetime. While many reside in renowned galleries like the Louvre or MoMA, others are nestled in quaint collections worldwide. Each piece is a travel-worthy masterpiece.
The Bigger Victory: Exhibition catalogue, Haunch of Venison, London
‘Painting on the Move’: Exhibition catalogue, Kunsthalle Basel
The Sleepwalker at the Sea by Kelly Grovier
Shifting between contemplative and whimsical, amorous and contemplative, this collection of poems navigates unseen trails amidst unfamiliar faces, hunting for forgotten sanctuaries and hidden lights. Unified by their shared theme of transient existence, these verses challenge our understanding of presence in the world. They search for clarity in vanished spaces, absent art, and fading remnants. Echoing the terrains of Wales and the poet's birthplace, Louisiana, the compilation also delves into the origins of the English language.