Alex Gruen


Alex Gruen

I make my paintings by layering a succession of discrete and complete images, one applied over the last. This process continues until an image results that makes visual and emotional sense to me on a most personal level. Sometimes the image emerges quickly with as few as one or two layers, but most require many, many layers and hours. The final image can be quite simple, even monochromatic, or it may have more complex spatial play.

Viewed as an object, the finished painting is the hardened presence of its materials. A combination of oil paint, clear acrylic medium, glitter and ashes are applied in successive layers. The resulting surface can become quite thick, heavy and textural in many of the paintings, while others times can be very clean and minimal. The paintings are each a unique and individual palimpsest of hidden actions.

The fundamental subject of the paintings is the act of looking into the distant horizon or the deepest sky from my viewpoint in New York City, here at the beginning of the new millennium. The vista is mostly blocked, altered or obliterated in each painting, as it usually is in life, by walls, windows, lights, tall buildings or closed eyes.

31 Bethune Street
Apt 5F
Manhattan, NY 10014