JAN G1: Alex Lukas

Breeze Block Gallery presents in Gallery 1:

Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete: A Solo Exhibition by Alex Lukas

Curated by Sven Davis

Breeze Block Gallery Portland OR.

9 January 2014 – 1 February 2014

OPENING RECEPTION: Thurs. Jan. 9th, 6-10pm

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Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete, a solo exhibition featuring a new collection of work across a range of media by Alex Lukas in the Breeze Block Gallery 1 space.

This Chicago-based artist will focus on the involvement of printmaking practices in his ongoing investigation and recontextualization of the familiar American landscape.

In addition to his painting and drawing practice, Lukas is self-taught printmaker with a background in ‘zine publishing and non-traditional use of print media. For this exhibition he will present several new editions, a new artists’ book, diazotypes, sculptures, offset lithographs and unique works based in printmaking as parts of an ambitious installation at the gallery. Eschewing the concept of using print merely as a means of reproducing an already existing image, all of the work presented here is unique to it’s medium.

A highlight of Prints & Photographs; Copies & Concrete will be the release of a brand new print portfolio created for the exhibition. Containing 12 images all measuring 11 x 17 this edition of 15 will include offset lithographs, screenprints, digital c-prints, diazotypes and unique photocopies.

The exhibition will also feature several of Lukas’ landscape drawings.

Alex Lukas’ highly detailed works on paper and intricate artists’ books examine a possible future of destruction and violence, coupled with rebirth and a quiet sense of optimism, alongside an examination of the contemporary landscape. His drawings contrast the contemporary reality of post-industrial cities with fictitious portrayals of an impending end-time. Lukas’ work refers to 19th-century grand depictions of the American landscape – where the land we inhabit was a place ripe for discovery questioning the premise of strength and promise inherent in that tradition. Filled with allusions to habitation, Lukas examines how we commemorate our experience of place and the way we communicate outside the digital realm. By declining to answer the pressing question of “What happened?” his images remain devoid of a clear narrative and instead ask viewers to reflect on their own experience, values and concept of loss and re-growth. Lukas’ recent installations have incorporated plant life, florescent lighting, industrial shelving and discarded construction materials. Coupled with diazotypes, unique photocopies and offset lithographs – all recently or almost antiquated methods of reproductions – alongside his drawings, Lukas utilizes these materials and mediums as a means to question traditional depictions of time and narrative, specifically past versus future.

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About Alex Lukas:

Alex Lukas was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1981 and raised in nearby Cambridge. With a wide range of artistic influences, Lukas creates both highly detailed drawings and intricate ‘zines. His drawings have been exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Lima, Stockholm and Copenhagen as well as in the pages of Megawords, Swindle Quarterly, Proximity Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Juxtapoz, Art New England and The New York Times Book Review amongst others. Lukas’ imprint, Cantab Publishing, has released over 40 small books and ‘zines since its inception in 2001.

He has lectured at The Rhode Island School of Design, The Maryland Institute College of Art, University of the Arts in Philadelphia and The University of Kansas and has been awarded residencies at the Jentel Foundation, AS220 and most recently The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska between September and November 2013.

He is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and recently moved to Chicago, IL after basing himself for many years in Philadelphia, PA, where he was part of the Space 1026 artist collective.