Alex Israel

23.09.2022 — 09.10.2022

Exhibition Text

Carl Kostyál is delighted to present Alex Israel ‘Cut-Outs’ at Hospitalet, Stockholm, the artist’s second solo show at the gallery, his first being at the former Kostyál space Isbrytaren in 2013. For this exhibition, Israel unveils a new body of work that references Matisse’s Jazz Portfolio (1947), a book of prints made from the modernist artist’s cut-out paper collages. Inspired by both Matisse’s color palette and inventive form of collage, Israel’s new works are the closest he’s come to making works on paper.

“I’d use the term ‘works on paper’ lightly, because Sintra is thin but it is not exactly paper. There is no hand in the works (the medium is usually associated with the handmade/intimate touch of the artist) and because the works are not studies (another common function of the work on paper). My cutouts are more works ‘in’ paper, as they are sculptural in their stacked/layered compositions.

Their ‘drawing’ is accomplished using computer graphics and a laser cutter. And they are painted with airbrushed acrylic paint before their parts are assembled/adhered together.” — Alex Israel.

Made at Warner Bros. and featuring motifs in the artist’s lexicon both familiar (Self-Portrait and Wave), and new (the surfboard Fin), in these works Israel continues his exploration of the contemporary artist as his own medium. His sometimes clinical—but never cynical—probing of the cult of celebrity past and present, is once again expressed through these layered (figuratively and now also physically) visual signifiers.

Photo by Carl Henrik Tillberg © the artist. Courtesy of Carl Kostyál, London | Stockholm