A Blacker Gold

Alexander’s assault on our comprehension of the substance and time is nowhere more palpable than in the burnished beauty of his monumental Shield of Achilles. Blazing to enormous size, these rippling medallions conjure luminously the classical conflicts of Homer while all the while glinting ambiguously with the fragility of our own precarious future. Given the exhilarating scale of his artistic enterprise, it is not surprising that Alexander should find himself forging new forms of expression to complement the shapes of culture that he has already reconfigured. Alongside the Achilles project, he has constructed arguably his most ambitious work to date – an installation of enormous steel rings, based on ancient Minoan design, heaped in a spectacular wreck in the centre of the exhibition. Conjuring connotations of jettisoned booster bearings, invisible escutcheons, or the great cosmic lens through which our souls were glimpsed by God, these abandoned discs hunker as formidably and mysteriously as Iron Age cromlechs or burial mounds. Cryptically christened simply Shield, the work sprawls as a culmination of Alexander’s post-temporal realignment of the coordinates of tradition and time.

Kelly Grovier . Extract from the press release The Blacker Gold .

  • Corten steel
  • 190 cm in diameter
  • 2008
Five rusted steel in an exhibition space in front of Mark Alexander's Shields of  Achilles.