Oil and egg tempera on panel
Alexandra Skarp lives and works in Stockholm and is educated at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design 1990-1995 MFA degree, and Staaliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Stuttgart 1996.
Alexandra Skarp works with painting, sculpture and digital arts, and have had solo exhibitions at Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Bildmuseet in Umeå, Örebro konsthall, Konstnärshusets Stora galleri and Mårtenson & Persson Gallery amongst others.
In february 2016 Skarp participated in the exhibition “Another Nature” at A.I.R. gallery, New York.
During the time directly following my art studies, I was mainly interested in my immediate surroundings, that I depicted in a photorealistic manner in paintings with everyday motifs and portraits of individuals. The focus of my work eventually shifted to another kind of depiction of the individuals featured, and I started to “detach” their heads from their bodies. The paintings became photo-surrealistic and, over time, they even assumed a quality that leaned towards constructivism. Realistic heads, decoupled from their bodies, were allowed to “move freely” among basic shapes such as triangles, squares and circles interconnected by lines. The work had increasingly more to do with reduction and featured only that which was vital to the piece. The head and eyes would symbolize an entire life or person. The hands now had a clarifying function and indicated a direction. A primitive language was brought to bear, with the hands furthering the narrative and communicating the intention of the figure in the image, while the eyes conveyed the mood.
At present I am working with the prerequisites and possibilities of painting. By exploring the nature of the flat surface and examining the various constructions of painting, as well as the notion of illusion and the two-dimensional image’s ability to communicate, the work process is driven onwards.
In the installations “Curved Space” and “Next Level”, the limits of the two-dimensional are extended. Here the flat painting is folded out over the three directions, axes or dimensions of the space.
In “Curved Space”, the theatrical backdrop-like construction is clearly displayed. One can see the backsides and the struts supporting the sawed-out paintings depicting flows that run out into the room. Although the construction is revealed, the illusion nevertheless remains fully intact.
In the installation “Next Level”, the line itself dominates the space, running across walls, floors and over three-dimensional shapes. The line is flat, the line is simply a line, and the line is allowed to slip out of the image and into the room.
In the piece “My Day”, the normally flat facial plane and hands have acquired real spatial volume, thereby forming an object that is half image, half sculpture, and in the later work “The Cabinet” the paintings in the installation have become sculptures where the paint is “added on top”.
Today, I choose to reside in an “in-between world”, a “2.5-dimensional world”, in the gap between painting and sculpture. Running parallel to the tendency of my paintings to become sculptures is my growing, rediscovered interest in “flat” painting. I reduce, compress and summarize as a means of advancing my analysis of the core of artistic expression.
Stockholm March 30th, 2018.