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alexander herzog

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Birth year

Lives in

Works in


NorthwesternUniversity, 2004, mfa

alexander herzog painting, abstract

Upcoming Exhibitions and Events
Oct, 2014 “Rocket Run, Abstraction from Chicago”
Elder Gallery

Challenging distinctions between painting and sculpture with an investigation of unconventional materials, I have concentrated my practice on a kind of mark that exhibits the visual conflict of trauma in a state of stasis.

 In a series of paintings I called dent paintings, I created marks that were literal indentations on the picture plane, a kind of frontal impact onto the painted surface, like a mark made by an automobile crash.  One of my inspirations was the 1973 book Crash by English author J.G. Ballard, “an endless almanac of terrifying…and insane collisions, [with the author’s stated intention}. Yet I wanted this traumatic mark to be sensual, perfected, mechanical, a controlled gesture.1

 I incorporated additional layer to the dent painting series:  the mechanical/indexical quality of photography, while still trying to maintain an “all over and at once” depiction of the painted space without hierarchy of figure and ground.  I wanted ambiguity regarding narrative in the series of images created by these dented marks.

After the completion of the dent paintings, I moved on to works cast from an industrial resin with the appearance of crumpled and discarded material.  I wanted to create a physiological state of emptiness such as would be felt after experiencing something horrific -- empty, discarded, untouched, found, and finally fetishized as an object of beauty.

 In the last. year and a half, I have worked through a new series of abstract paintings in which the marks made on the painted surface were created by a direct physical contact with my hands onto the picture plane.  These marks are fluid, frozen, tangled, lyrical, animated by the frenetic energy of gesture, like watching a conductor’s hands moving in the air in front of an orchestra, or a person in a maniac obsessive state.   I like the density of the marks, the illusion of space, very shallow and close to the picture plane.  I have moved entirely away from color and have focused more on a high contrast between the gesture and ground . 

My most recent work moves away from the physicality of the mark in an exploration of yet another non-traditional material, a film that creates surface, eliminating the figure-ground hierarchy while setting up interesting anonymous reflective possibilities for the viewer.


[1]  Ballard, J.G., Crash, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Sept. 1, 1973.


Recent Exhibits

alexander herzog participated in these exhibits:

Lloyd Dobler Gallery
Aug, 2012 21st Evanston and Vicinity Biennial
Evanston Art Center

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