John Alexander: Human/nature opens March 22 at the Meadows


Meadows Museum to Present Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Acclaimed Texas Artist John Alexander March 22-June 28, 2015

Human/nature. The Ridiculous and Sublime: Recent Works by John Alexander Will Feature 35 Works by SMU-Trained Artist Known for His Satirical Look at How Humans Interact with Nature DALLAS (SMU) (March 3, 2015)


The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University will honor one of the University’s most acclaimed artists with the exhibition Human/nature. The Ridiculous and Sublime: Recent Works by John Alexander. The exhibition will run March 22 through June 28, 2015 and will feature 35 paintings and drawings by the SMU-trained Alexander, whose works often incorporate social satire and a surreal cast of people and animals. One critic has described his work as capturing “nature at its grandest and man at his worst.”

The exhibition, curated by Meadows Museum Curatorial Assistant Shelley DeMaria, will be on display within the museum’s Virginia Meadows Galleries. A catalogue, which includes an essay by Eleanor Jones Harvey, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as an artist interview conducted by DeMaria, will accompany the exhibition.

Born in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas, Alexander attended Lamar University before entering graduate school at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in 1969. During his time at the Meadows School, he also worked at the Meadows Museum, where he gained unique access to the Museum’s permanent collection of Spanish art. Alexander was notably influenced by the work of Francisco de Goya, and in particular, by Goya’s four complete print series, which are part of the Museum’s permanent collection. Alexander would take from the Spanish artist the ability to satirize the world he saw around him, and meld it with his own Texan sensibility, which included an acute awareness of the oil industry and its effects on the natural environment.

After receiving his MFA from SMU in 1970, Alexander moved to Houston, established a studio and became a member of the art faculty of the University of Houston. In the late 1970s, Alexander moved to New York, where he currently divides his time between New York City and Amagansett, Long Island. He has exhibited extensively in the United States and around the world, and had a major retrospective in 2008 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Alexander’s work is included in the permanent collections of leading museums including the Dallas Museum of Art; The McNay Museum in San Antonio; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and many other distinguished public and private collections worldwide. His 1989 painting Demons is part of the University Art Collection at the Meadows Museum, a gift from Houston philanthropist William J. Hill in 2006.

Human/nature. The Ridiculous and Sublime is comprised of 35 works on loan from 26 lenders, including 12 from Texas. “Our exhibition spans the past decade of John’s career, with the earliest work from 2002, yet it is representative of his trajectory as a whole,” said DeMaria. “He is a consummate draftsman, a skillful satirist, and a lover of nature. All of these characteristics will be on display in this exhibition.” more

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