Adam Alexander
"Mathematicality"
Online Exhibition Launch: Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Click here to view the work.


 


Having invested a lifetime in that hypothetical realm where the cold calculus of logic meets the warm and fuzzy reaches of the
imagination, Adam Alexander is what we might call a reluctant artist: an outsider figure drawn to the visionary as much for its
specificity as its uncanny complexity. Compelling as his images may be- so stunning in fact that they flirt with that most disabused
of aesthetic ideals, beauty- Alexander maintains that mathematical art, both in terms of its process and its sum result, is a kind of
found art. In that way his picture puzzles are a bit of a Duchampian conceit, but this very notion of the objet trouve here is
emphatically not random. Not arbitrary, these are indeed real algebraic formulations. Readymades perhaps, but the effort here is not
to celebrate the commonplace so much as escalate and emphasize the extraordinary qualities of conceptual and visual intricacy by
which we can come to understand and even predict the awesome phenomenology of the every day. But here’s the crucial difference
we must acknowledge between Alexander’s found art versus that of the avant-garde: rather than being art simply because he has in
some arch gesture called it that, Adam Alexander only settles on this dubious term of art so that we might collectively come to deal
with this work as something more than (or at least other than) mathematics.

From the boy who whiled away his time creating crystals out of a volatile mixture of mothballs and benzene lighter fluid under the
microscope given him by his grandfather (who was the science writer for the Yiddish newspaper Tog), to the young man who
attained his psychedelic awakening with his first LSD trip on new year’s day 1966, to the uncanny inventor who created Alexander’s
Star in 1982, a sequel to the immensely popular Rubik’s Cube (which like his star-shaped puzzle was also issued by Ideal Toys and
accompanied in the marketplace by a solution book from Ballantine), Adam Alexander has in fact long been pursuing that most
elemental aspect of art-making: to imagine and manifest that which defies and denies the human gaze. These pictures here are
invocations of the oceanic emptiness we psychologically occupy in a universe of humbling mystery, divined in the imprecation of
our pathological horror vacui. He wields the discrete order within the chaotic cacophony of living, what the poet William Blake
described as that “fearful symmetry,” not so much to make sense of things as to marvel at the inherent pulchritude of that which fails
to conform.

Alexander does not get excited by the image that illustrates a mathematical idea, which is the usual utility by which most of these
kinds of pictures serve- he figures most people wouldn’t even get those ideas anyway, and fellow mathematicians have never been
his intended audience. Using the regular to simulate the irregular, math provides this artist with an infinitely variable inventory of
possible visual textures as he tries to find an aesthetic empathy with the non-mathematician. Distilling his maximal impulses through
a minimalist register (using an old-school dos-based program grabbed from freeware to work the severely limited palette of 256
colors of its one byte pixel 8-bit technology), Adam Alexander’s art stands at a curious juncture of being at once reductivist and
expository. “The problem with most fractals is that they look like fractals,” he explains, “I want them to look like modern art,
something that is not too simple but can bespeak certain levels of complexity while remaining utterly abstract.” That is, coming from
a place of absolute objectivity, the gaze of these pictures is that which tries to find a way of looking past the facts to posit a position
of slippery subjectivity. Not your typical quod erat demonstratum, this art is not an explanation but the proof that lies in the pudding
of experience.  — Carlo McCormick

“Mathematicality,” digital artwork by Adam Alexander launches online Wednesday, January 19, 2011, at www.fusegallerynyc.com.
For more information, contact Fuse Gallery at 212.777.7988 or fusegall@fusegallerynyc.com.

Line Gallery is an online venue for Fuse Gallery to introduce even more fresh talent to the world. The quality and quantity of
submissions from new artists around the globe, and the ever-growing importance of the internet in promoting and viewing art, have
inspired us to create an online addition to our substantial schedule of in-house exhibitions. In Line Gallery, the gallery walls are
your computer screen.
http://www.fusegallerynyc.com/Line/linepr.html