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 Peter Alexander  (1939 - )

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: mod aerial and below water views

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Peter Alexander
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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.

Special Projects:
2003  Commissioned by Frank Gehry to create a painting for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The painting is titled  "Blue", acrylic on wood panel,  and measures 6' x 48'.
1971  PBS Documentary, "Artists of America" series
1975  Paramount Pictures, prop drawings for the film "Day of the Locust"
1984  "Amphitheatre of Light: A Prelude to the XXIII Olympiad, Hollywood Bowl, July 27, 1984; visual images in collaboration with Frank Gehry and Ron Hays.
1988  "Eight West Coast Artists", a print project arranged by Ediciones Poligrafia, Barcelona
1989  Commissioned art for Santa Monica Municipal Airport, California
1994  Commissioned sculpture for the 777 Building, Los Angeles, architect Cesar Pelli, client South Figueroa Plaza Associates

Selected Solo Exhibitions:
1968  Robert Elkon Gallery, New York
1969  Janie C. Lee Gallery, Houston, Texas
Locksley/Shea Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1970  Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles
1971  Michael Walls Gallery, San Francisco
1972  Jack Glenn Gallery, San Diego, California
1973  Art in Progress, Munich, Germany; Morgan Art Gallery, Kansas City, Kansas
1974  Jack Glenn Gallery, San Diego, California
1975  University of California, Irvine; Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, California; Comsky Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
1976  California State University, Long Beach
1980  Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art
1981  James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles; University of Colorado, Boulder
1982  Thomas Babeor Gallery, La Jolla, California; Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles; Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1983  ARCO Center for Visual Art, Los Angeles (catalogue); Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (catalogue); Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles
1984  Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco; van Straaten Gallery, Chicago; Charles Cowles Gallery, New York; Fuller Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco
1985  Charles Cowles Gallery, New York;  James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
1986  James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
1987  James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
1988  Gallery 454 North, Los Angeles
1989  James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles (catalogue)
1990  Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans
1991  The Works Gallery, Costa Mesa, California; "Sculpture 1966-72", James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles (catalogue)
1991  Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco
1992  "Century: A Painting by Peter Alexander", Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California; "Peter Alexander: The Velvet Paintings", Charles Whitchurch Gallery, Huntington Beach, California; "Skycam", James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
1993  Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans; "Las Vegas", James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
1994  Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York (catalogue); Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco; Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
1995  Gallery at 777, Citicorp Plaza, Los Angeles;  Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, California
1997  Galerie Simonne Stern, New Orleans, Louisiana; Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco; Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, Lebanon
1998  Stremmel Gallery, Reno, Nevada; Craig Krull Gallery, Santa Monica
1999 Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach held a retrospective exhibition titled "In This Light"  accompanied by a catalogue with essay by Dave Hickey.
2000  Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach
2001  Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
2002  Crocker Plaza, San Francisco, CA; Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA; Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica, CA
2004  Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, New York;
2005  Santa Monica, CA   
2006  Santa Monica, CA
2007  Pasadena City College Art Gallery, Pasadena, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1967  “Small Images”, California State College, Los Angeles
1969  “New Materials and Methods”, Museum of Modern Art, New York “Here and Now”, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri; “Whitney Annual”, Whitney Museum of American Art,  New York (catalogue); “Fourteen Sculptors: The Industrial Edge”, Walker Art  Center, Minneapolis (catalogue)
1970 “300: New Multiple Art”, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (catalogue)
1971  “Transparency, Reflection, Light, Space”, UCLA Art Galleries, Los Angeles (catalogue)
1972  “Documenta ‘72”, Kassel, Germany
1973   “The State of California Painting”, Auckland City Art Museum, New Zealand (catalogue)
1976  “Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era”, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
1978  “The Weisman Collection”, California State University, Long Beach (catalogue)
1982   “Echange Entre Artistes, 1931-1982: Pologne-USA”, Museum of Modern Art, Paris and Museum of Modern Art, Lodz, Poland
1983  “Corcoran Biennial”, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1984  “An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York (catalogue)
1985  “Spectrum: Los Angeles”, Hartje Gallery, Berlin (catalogue); “Made in India”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1986  “Peter Alexander/Nicholas Wilder”, James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles; “The Golden Land”, San Diego Museum of Art
1987  “Los Angeles Today: Contemporary Visions”, Amerika Haus, Berlin; “Selections from the Permanent Collection”, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
1990   “Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation”, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, New York
1991  “Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman Gallery forContemporary Art”, San Diego Museum of Art
1992  “Individual Realities in the California Art Scene”, Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo and Seibu Tsukashin Hall, Amagisaki,Japan
1993  “Sculpture and Multiples”, Brooke Alexander Gallery,New York
1994  “75 Works, 75 Years: Collecting the Art of California”,Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California; “Selected Works on Paper”, Modernism, San Francisco
“Best of the West”, Zero One Gallery, Los Angeles; “City Art”, Millard Sheets Gallery, Pomona, California; “The Frederick Weisman Collection”, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California
1995  “P.L.A.N.: Photography Los Angeles Now”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; “Landscapes, Figures and Still Lifes”, Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho 1997  “Approaching the Figure”, Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco; “Las Vegas”, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles
1998  “Light and Space”, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California
“Digital Frontier: Photography’s Future at Nash Editions”, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York
1999  “Radical Past: Contemporary Art and Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974”, Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena,
2000  “Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900-2000”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
2001  ‘Representing L.A.’, Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas (catalog)
"Representing L.A.", Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas (catalog)
"California Contemporary Art Collection 2001", The California State Senate, State Capitol, Sacramento, California
2002  "Velvet Kruise". Self Help Graphics, Los Angeles, California; "Arte Terciopelo Negro/Black Velvet Art", Galeria ICBC, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; "Cowboys, Indians and the Big Picture", McMullen Art Gallery, Boston College, Chestnut Hill,Massachusetts (catalog); "California Art From the Collection of Frederick R. Weisman", Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
2003  “Made in California: Selections from the Frederick R. Weisman   Art Foundation Collection, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana: and Todd Madigan Gallery at California State University, Bakersfield;
2004   “Cities of Promise: Imaging Urban California”, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; “Los Angeles Artist”, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California; “Beyond Geometry”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California; “100 Artists See Satan”, Grand Central Arts Center, Santa Ana, California
2005  "Wilder", Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York; "West: Frank Gehry and the Artists of Venice Beach, 1962-1978", Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minneapolis, Minnesota; “100 Artists See Satan”, Grand Central Arts Center, Santa Ana, California

Selected Museum Collections:
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Fort Worth Art Museum, TX
Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA
Metropolitan Museum, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, CA

Sources include
Les Krantz, American Artists, Illustrated Survey of Leading Contemporary Artists
Additional information courtesy of the artist

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