Alexander Basil : The week stretching out in front of you

11 October - 12 November 2022
  • Alexander Basil

    The week stretching out in front of you
  • Alexander Basil’s latest exhibition ‘The week stretching out in front of you’ presents a new body of work continuing Basil’s exploration of personal perception and our comprehension of our own psychology through an exploration of the domestic environment. Predominantly focussing on an abstracted form of self portraiture within various iterations of the domestic space, the objects and mis-en-scene depicted in the compositions explore a form of intimidation of the domestic setting, with laptops, computer games, bedrooms and cleaning equipment creating the antithesis of a mythologized artistic studio context and instead transcend into a more pervasive and relatable comment on the relationship to ones environment.
  • Installation View, Alexander Basil, The week stretching out in front of you, 2022, photo credits to Manuel Carreon Lopez
  • self-portraits in disguise
    Alexander Basil
    Untitled, 2022, oil on canvas
    88 x 78 cm, 34 5/8 x 30 3/4 in

    self-portraits in disguise

    For these introspective compositions, Basil oftentimes employs the use of multiple self-portraits into a variety of narrative characters and anthropomorphised objects that explore varying reflections on the self. The figures often interact with one another creating a dissected depiction of the interior psychology that explores introspection and isolation charged with an ironic humour. The sense of scale within Basil’s works is of particular importance with the figures sometimes taking an exaggeratedly enlarged or minimised size in comparison to the interiors and each other. In this regard, the environments exert an influence on the character of the portraits that alters between overpowering and sheltering. Figures that are more shapeless seem to melt and integrate into objects and furniture with their function ultimately lost. At other points larger figures surround smaller interior layouts, unable to fit into the scene, while some smaller figures appear to deliberately camouflage themselves as objects with suggestive facial expressions as if to challenge the viewer to spot them.
  • comic portrayals
    Alexander Basil
    Untitled, 2022, oil on canvas
    170 x 145 cm, 66 7/8 x 57 1/8 in

    comic portrayals

    In conflict with the slight mockery of some of these characters disguising themselves as anthropomorphised objects, there is also a sense of belittling and at times violent degradation to the form of these figures. The darkly comic portrayals of a figure sweeping small bits of trash from the floor with the trash itself being small portraits, or an ashtray with a cigarette stubbed out onto the human face, are ultimately demeaning portrayals. Further works have a more destructive element to them such as the portrait taking on the form of a pencil as a larger figure sharpens it, a balloon placed precariously to the spines of a cactus or a candle being ravished by the passing of time. These works in particular create a sense of imminent annihilation and their comic portrayal an irreverence towards the artist himself.
  • Installation View, Alexander Basil, The week stretching out in front of you, 2022, photo credits to Manuel Carreon Lopez
  • concept of time and its value
    Alexander Basil
    Untitled, 2022, oil on canvas
    190 x 155 cm, 74 3/4 x 61 in

    concept of time and its value

    Within this latest body of work, there is a secondary focus on the concept of time and the tension within our contemporary over stimulated existences with their material and virtual facets. From an iconographic perspective there are a variety of objects depicted throughout the works in the exhibition which relate to the measurement of time including a watch, melting candles and a calendar composed of Basil’s portrait transformed into moon cycles. The breadth of the historical periods in which these versions of time measurement were first employed conveys a sense of the enduring quality of humanity’s relationship with time. This leads us as the viewer to a contemplation of our continued attempts to harness and regulate time as a society, and as individuals, with a view to our own personal productivity or labour being connected to our “value”  where output forms the basis of worth. 
     
  • Installation View, Alexander Basil, The week stretching out in front of you, 2022, photo credits to Manuel Carreon Lopez
  • Exploration of hyper-stimulation in our domestic environments
    Alexander Basil
    Untitled, 2022, oil on canvas
    45 x 50 cm, 17 3/4 x 19 3/4 in

    Exploration of hyper-stimulation in our domestic environments

    In conjunction with the manner in which our time is spent and the corresponding output of what we achieve and create being inherently linked to our own sense of self worth, Basil also explores the hyper-stimulation of our domestic environments and the inertia that develops as a result. Through the depiction of objects that constitute our continuous search for stimulation including, a Nintendo Switch, laptops, earphones and CDs, the works engage with the corresponding paralysis and anxiety that intermittently occurs as a result of the depleted nature of our attention spans these objects foster. For example, in one work a figure lies in bed surrounded by distraction paraphernalia that, although the central figure is in a resting posture, fills the scene with a visual reproduction of the staccato rhythm of our daily concentration. When viewing the works a sense of empathy occurs no matter the viewer’s personal form of production, whether a blank word-document replaces a blank canvas, that familiar empty stare while binge-watching on a laptop screen incapsulates our prevalent paranoia that we have wasted time that we could have utilised more positively.

  • Installation View, Alexander Basil, The week stretching out in front of you, 2022, photo credits to Manuel Carreon Lopez
  • About the Artist |¬†Alexander Basil

    Alexander Basil (b.1997, Arkhangelsk, Russia) currently lives and works between Berlin and Vienna. Basil graduated from The Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2022 and has studied at The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. His professors have included Elizabeth Peyton, Daniel Richter, Kirsi Mikkola and Tomma Abts.
     
    Basil’s solo exhibitions include: Disegni Section, invited by Irina Zucca Alessandrelli, Artissima, Turin, Italy (upcoming November 2022); ‘The week stretching out in front of you’, Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna, Austria, 2022; ‘The problem I did not consider’, Nevven, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2022; ‘Entourage’, Galerie Robert Grunenberg, Berlin, 2022; ‘Claustrophobia’, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin, 2021; ‘Alexander Basil’, Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2021; ‘Alexander Basil’, Salon Dahlmann | Miettinen Collection, Berlin, 2020. 
     
    Previous group exhibitions include: Gallery Vacancy, Shanghai, China (upcoming November 2022); ‘Drawing Wow 3’, curated by Anna Gille, Philip Loersch & Tim Plamper, Vienna, Austria, 2022; ‘And I Trust You’ curated by Anna Miettinen and Linda Peitz - Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, 2022; ‘Touch Me: Nudes from the Miettinen Collection’, Kunstraum Potsdam, Germany, 2022; ‘Why Can’t We Live Together: Collection Peters-Messer’, Kunstverein Marburg, Germany, 2022; ‘The Class of Kirsi Mikkola’, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin, 2021; ‘Diskrete Simulation’, curated by Jakob Lena Knebl, Galerie Crone, Vienna, 2020; ‘Touch Me: Nudes from the Miettinen Collection’, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, 2020; ‘Trust. Pictures of the class of Tomma Abts’, KIT- Art in the Tunnel, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 2017.