Peter Alexander was born in Los Angeles in 1939. His education includes the University of Pennsylvania, 1957-60; Architectural Association, London, England, 1960-62; University of California, Berkeley, 1962-63; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1963-64; University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a B.A. degree, 1964-65; and the University of California, Los Angeles, M.F.A. degree, 1965-66.
Alexander became a painter who was influenced by the Light and Space movement in California. His primary subject is the play of light over water and clouds. In paintings and drawings, he has depicted under-water fantasies, shimmering seascapes and dark clouds glowing with sunlight or lightning.
A series of black velvet paintings was deliberate kitsch, with glitter and garish colors. In Alexander's sumptuous yet ordered world of fantasy, colors are often exaggerated, and metallic pigments applied in thick clots and thin ribbons to create shining artificial surfaces. He has also made lithographs.
Alexander received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He was Artist in Residence at Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA, 2007; Artist in Residence at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, 1970-71; University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 1981; Centrum Foundation, Washington, 1982; and Sarabhai Foundation, Ahmedabad, India, 1983.
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