Alex Lukas, “2011 025 Untitled”, 2011 Ink, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gouache and Silk Screen on Paper 25” x 72”
Guerrero Gallery, September 10th – October 8th
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10th, 7-11pm
Guerrero Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Alex Lukas. With this collection of works on paper Lukas
continues his exploration of the fragility of our modern society, questioning concepts of our national mortality and examining
universal ideas of isolation and rebirth through the framework of a re-imagined American ideal. Focusing on a long-standing
cultural fascination with fictional visions of America destroyed – and images of the same in everyday reality – Lukasʼ drawings
imply violence alongside quiet optimism. Through this duality, his drawings dialogue with landscape painting in America – a
tradition where romanticized depictions of the land we inhabit are a place ripe for discovery and exploration – resulting in visions
that incorporate an additional air of anxiety and isolation.
Through depictions of spray painted messages on crumbling concrete walls, names carved into trees, and decrepit abstract
murals, Lukas explores the impact of anonymous marks made by unknown individuals to commemorate their passage or to
communicate with others. Lukas examines these analog modes of communication and expression – means that persist even
after technology has failed, yet remain long after the individual or community has moved on – hinting at a population otherwise
absent. The result is a heightening of the prevalent sense of solitude in his works.
Also included in this exhibition is a large drawing to be viewed in the round. Loosely inspired by the 19th century tradition of
cyclorama painting, this large-scale work envelops the viewers peripheral vision increasing the sense of the isolation evident in
Lukasʼ smaller works. Traditionally depicting critical moments in the history of nations, such as the turning point of a major battle,
American Cycloramas were a popular method of romanticizing victory and commemorating of the strength of a country.
Extracting the nationalism and romanticization of battle, Lukasʼ work instead investigates the fragility of all humanity over of the
strength of the individual.
Alongside the works on paper are Lukasʼ appropriated photographic spreads of metropolises culled from vintage publications
and commercially produced posters. Intended as testaments to the power and beauty of America and American ingenuity, these
published images of buzzing American cities are transformed by Lukas into quiet islands. By appropriating these mass-produced,
commercially printed objects, Lukas questions the line between past and future as well as between truth and myth.
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 Xeroxed ʻzines. Lukasʼ imprint, Cantab Publishing, has released over
35 small books and ʻzines since itʼs inception in 2001. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, his drawings have been
exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Stockholm and Copenhagen as well as in the
pages of Swindle Quarterly, Proximity Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, Dwell
Magazine, Juxtapoz, New American Paintings, Next American City and The New York Times Book Review. Lukasʼ work was
recently included in the 2011 Philagrafika Portfolio as well as the 2011 West Prize Final 10. He has lectured at Maryland Institute
College of Art (MICA), The University of Richmond and University of Kansas (Upcoming). Lukas lives and works in Philadelphia,