John Alexander’s work has been called a meeting between the Hudson River School and east Texas—a comparison the artist doesn’t resist.
Born in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas, Alexander remained in southeast Texas until entering graduate school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1969. Upon completing an MFA in 1970, he moved to Houston, established a studio and became a member of the art faculty of the University of Houston.
In the late 1970’s Alexander left Texas for New York.
As a child, Alexander was deeply moved by American landscape painting and developed a reverence for nature, influences later manifesting in his work as powerful landscapes and intimate studies of birds and plants.
Today, he is known for his deftness as both a draftsman and satirist, creating allegorical, chaotic, and sometimes violent pieces with a critical perspective toward human interference with the natural world, corporate interests, the American political climate, and the destruction of the environment.
He describes his ongoing subject as “nature at its grandest and man at his worst,” or the “glimpse of paradise before the wrecking ball hits.” Critic Robert Hughes admiringly referred to him as “a Texan swamp hog raised by madness.”
He currently divides his time between New York City and Amagansett, New York.
His work is included in the permanent collections of leading museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Dayton Institute in Ohio, the Dallas Museum of Art; The Meadows Museum in Dallas, The McNay Museum in San Antonio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nevada Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; the Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as many other distinguished public and private collections worldwide.
Biographical sources: Artsy; Smithsonian Institute; artist website
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