alex israel's beach-themed 'summer 2' solo exhibition at almine rech gallery in paris
 

alex israel's beach-themed 'summer 2' solo exhibition at almine rech gallery in paris

born and based in los angeles, alex israel is a multimedia artist, writer, and eyewear designer deeply knitted together with his hometown. his work explores his surroundings, including popular media, hollywood and the cult around celebrities, proposing LA as a key point to understanding american culture. two years after his 2015 ‘summer’ exhibition, israel returns to almine rech’s paris gallery with ‘summer 2’. featuring an ensemble of his most recent works, the show draws upon beach subjects, resulting in a documentary of his natal city. through his paintings, sculptures and installations, he conveys, transforms and comments on los angeles’ mythology and aesthetic.

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
alex israel view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

 

 

‘summer 2’ is israel’s third solo exhibition at almine rech, where he continues with his ‘self portrait’ series. presented at the gallery, the visitor will be encountered by an automated sculpture of a pelican, created in collaboration with designer michael curry. hand-powered by a spring mechanism, the bird is able to blink its eyes and flap its wings gracefully. further on the exhibition are israel’s new ‘self-portrait’ sculptures referencing wetsuits. made of painted aluminum, the artist’s body was cast to make the pieces, which celebrate los angeles by alluding one of the city’s most emblematic sports. their stiffness and lack of heads, hands, or feet, make them more evocative of greco-roman statues and remains of lost civilizations than of surfing.

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
alex israel view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

 

 

‘earlier this year, alex israel told me that his spirit animal was a pelican. he came to this conclusion while filming his forthcoming teen movie SPF-18—there was always a pelican sneaking into the background of the scenes he was recording,’ comments eric troncy. ‘he furthered explained that pelicans are the closest living animals to pterodactyls, and that they can be found up and down the coast of california. at that time, he had just started working on a sculpture of a pelican with michael curry, who designed animal puppets for the broadway musical the lion king. alex wanted this sculpture to be suspended in the air, and its flight to be manually activated by the viewers.’

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
alex israel view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

 

 

israel’s work looks extraordinary simple at first glance—a characteristic that the artist has consciously inserted into them. this responds to the millennial generation, a group of people who avoid conflict and repress criticism at any cost. for a generation that ‘likes’, yet never ‘dislikes’—the sole judgment found on the most used social media platforms—israel’s work is benevolent, friendly and even compassionate in a way, appealing neither to tolerance, cynicism, or even credulity. 

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
alex israel view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

alex israel summer 2 almine rech gallery paris solo exhibition designboom
view of the exhibition ‘summer 2’ 10.06 – 29.07.2017 almine rech gallery, paris
© alex israel – photo: zarko vijatovic courtesy of the artist and almine rech gallery

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