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PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release

EXHIBITION: Michel Alexis, "Hide-Seek, Here-There"

DATE: September 18 - October 23, 1999
RECEPTION: Saturday, September 18, 4 -7 p.m.
In conjunction with Côte Ouest, A Season of French Contemporary Art

LOCATION: Ruth Bachofner Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave. G2, Santa Monica, CA 90404

GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday - Saturday 10-6 p.m.

OPEN HOUSE: 5 Year Anniversary Celebration of Bergamot Station Arts Center
Sunday, September 26, 12-5 p.m.

Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present "Hide-Seek, Here-There" an exhibition of new paintings by New York artist Michel Alexis.

Alexis explores with delicacy and subtlety issues of the symbolic, the groping towards and loss of language, in a careful if nonetheless often violent limning of the origins, the possibilities of writing , the mark, the conditions of speech, harking back and forwards to a pre- or alinguistic state. Remains of language are often literally cut into his multiple-layered, gridded canvases producing marks reminiscent of scarification rituals, or a graffiti of the preconscious while his deep and expert use of sometimes jarring contrasts in light and shadow evoke very specific states of being. While this concern with the “violence of the white page” is quintessentially French, as is a certain evocation of a world before or beyond textual language (think of Cezanne’s apples), Alexis’ toughness and sophistication of approach and response guarantee a universal, multinational, not provincial audience. This dialogue between visual and textual languages, the ongoing determination of their relationship is an acute contemporary debate in which Alexis’ paintings, which are often based on literature but are not ‘literary’, make a forceful intervention, being as they are a presentation of what visual art can show if not say. In Alexis’ work over the years, his canvases only gain in raw strength and complexity without losing an essential elegance.
- Jay Murphy

Murphy is an independent writer and arts critic and has contributed to Parkett (Zurich/New York), Art in America (New York), World Art (Sydney/New York), Metropolis (New York), Frieze (London), among many other journals and was a correspondent for Contemporanea (Milan).

For further information please call (310) 829-3300, fax (310) 449-0070 or visit

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