Maxwell Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce that artist Susan Lyon won the Gold Medal Award in the Associate and Signature Division at the 28th National Exhibition of Oil Painters of America. Showcased at the Illume Gallery of Fine Art, Lyon’s piece “Gems” received the top prize of $25,000. Oil Painters of America features premier realism artists, and Lyon’s win is a credit to her skill and dedication. To inquire about available works by Susan Lyon, please contact Maxwell Alexander Gallery for details.
Maxwell Alexander Gallery is a leading West Coast destination for some of the country’s best realists, dubbed “The New Breed of Fine Art.” The gallery specializes in middle and early career artists with exceptional technique and a unique vision. Noted artists include Jeremy Mann, Serge Marshennikov, Cesar Santos, Joseph Todorovitch, Kim Cogan, Michael Klein, Joshua LaRock and David Kassan.
“Maxwell Alexander Gallery is located in the South Park district of downtown Los Angeles, just a couple streets over from the Convention Center and Staples Center. In recent years, downtown LA has become one of the most sought-after locations in Los Angeles. Recent articles have shown 35 new high-rise building projects, many of them including residential units,” says Beau Alexander, president of the gallery.
“Needless to say, the market is booming. We are continuing to service our out-of-state clientele, but we’ve also gained a whole group of new clients this past year who are new residents of downtown LA. As a result, sales have doubled in 2018 and we look forward to continue the trend in 2019.
He continues, “The roster of master artists exhibited in our white walled, 16-foot high ceiling contemporary gallery, has transformed typically modern collectors to take a second look at contemporary realism— and add works to their growing collections. We are thrilled to be in the middle of this growing market and a worldwide destination for enthusiastic collectors.”
In February, the gallery will host an exhibition for Todorovitch featuring his new series of muted-toned figurative works that feature hist of color, creating a dreamlike sensation.
Roaming the shores
For 400 years, wild horses have roamed the shores of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Early explorers from Spain, put in a difficult spot, had to ditch their cargo, including horses, and the creatures have thrived on the island ever since. These majestic creatures are the subject of Michael Klein’s upcoming solo exhibition at Maxwell Alexander Gallery.
Klein stumbled upon the theme after moving from New York City to North Carolina. “These horses have been doing the same thing for hundreds of years, just grazing the lands, and as a subject they haven’t changed at all,” Klein says. “The imagery is really incredible. It felt very European, and very historical, and yet it exists right in front of us.”
In Kindred Spirits, Klein portrays his wife, admiring two horses in a stall. “These are private horses, where a guide will take you on a ride to see the wild horses,” he explains. “The image alludes to my wife’s tenderness.”
A group of the coastal horses congregates on the shore in Winter Survival. They graze on the dormant grass, half covered in a layer of snow. “These horses were basically untouched until the 20th century, and then they got diminished because of a bounty set on them in the 1930s,” Klein says. “Now, there are a few nonprofits that protect them.”
The show also features work from outside the horse theme. Future Legacy, San Carlos was inspired by Klein’s visit to the San Carlos Nation Apache Reservation in Scottsdale, Arizona. “I went with a friend who was born there to help do some construction,” he says. “The experience made me think about the future of the reservation, and it gave me inspiration to do something that would give respect to that part of the Western market.”
Klein’s show at Maxwell Alexander opens December 8, with a reception taking place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A major change of scenery has brought a dramatic shift of subject matter for painter Michael Klein, as is evident in his 20-painting solo show that opens with a reception on Saturday, December 8, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. The artist, who often travels the world presenting painting workshops, will be in attendance.
In recent years, Klein, 38, and his wife moved first from Buenos Aires, where they’d lived for several years, to New York, and they have now relocated to Raleigh, NC. That’s where the artist first came to learn of and witness firsthand the wild mustangs that roam the shores of the northern Outer Banks islands. Now protected through nonprofit foundations, the steeds are descendants of horses believed to have been left there by shipwrecked Spanish or English explorers in the late 16th century.
All of which struck Klein as ideal inspiration for his classical approach to realist art. The artist trained, since the age of 19, in ateliers and workshops including those of New Hampshire master portraitist Richard Whitney, the Art Students League of New York, and Jacob Collins at his widely respected Water Street Atelier (now called the Grand Central Atelier). Klein has also been influenced by his intensive studies of art history, including 19th-century naturalist painters such as John Singer Sargent, Jules Bastien-Lepage, and Émile Friant. “In these works, I’m exploring a little bit of American history, and I’m using all my training to portray a single horse, or five or six horses, walking down the beach, in moonlight or in the morning, on a cloudy day or at sunset,” he says. “I love the variety.”
Klein expects to be showing about a dozen of these equine images, most of which are painted in oils on panel. There is also a generous selection of other subjects for which he is already well known: four or five of his widely admired floral still-life paintings—which in recent years gained Klein a large Instagram following—along with four figurative works that include a portrait of “a gentleman from the Apache reservation,” another of his wife, and a self-portrait.
“Twenty paintings is a pretty significant number for a solo show,” observes gallery director Beau Alexander. He considers Klein—who had a small show of his floral works at Maxwell Alexander’s former Culver City location in late 2015—more than worthy of such a major display. “Michael possesses a vast knowledge of art history, and while never forgetting the masters that have come before him, he is definitely making his own mark,” Alexander says. That impact, he thinks, will be all the greater as a result of the artist’s new subject matter: “I find it interesting to see his technical ability being translated to something new, while his brush strokes and technique haven’t changed. When an artist is unexpectedly inspired like this, you can see the interest and the passion in the finished works.”
Cesar Santos: Transposing the Past
Cuban painter Cesar Santos borrows freely from the past in a way that’s exciting and fresh. Like a pop quiz of art history, it rewards those who know their stuff—from Michelangelo and Katsushika Hokusai, to Rembrandt and Vermeer, to Keith Haring and Jackson Pollock. He calls this blending of art movements—Renaissance with street graffiti, cubism with contemporary realism, impressionism with Pop Art, printmaking with modern figurative—Syncretism, a word that he created to begin to capture his sampling from art history.
Santos will unveil new works that smash together art movements from around the world, as well as large works from a fresh series of paintings, at a new show opening April 14 at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles. Santos, who is currently living in Miami, has not shown before on the West Coast and is thrilled at the opportunity to bring his unique pieces to a new audience in California. “As soon as I saw the incredible space, I knew I had to do something very special,” he says. “It inspired me to do these big paintings on linen, which will be a lot of fun to show.”
Works in the exhibition include Annunciation, which borrows heavily from Botticelli’s 15th-century The Annunciation and figures from Pablo Picasso four centuries later. “I loved this idea of Botticelli’s work with a cubist piece, and transforming it from this Renaissance work to this broken form of the cubist idea,” Santos says. “I’m always trying to integrate technique, and studying the masters to see how they composed different elements to create a unified vision. A lot of it is about edge control and values, and once you get it right you can combine things freely.”
In Across, Santos brings in the figure of Venus de Milo as she pushes herself out of a classical gilt frame, while behind her is a background that calls out to Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and 14th-century Italian painter Giotto. “Venus was my ideal beauty. So I took my model and painted the sculpture’s head as if it was model’s head,” he explains. “I wanted her playfully escaping from her past into the present, as if she was leaving her classical antiquity behind her.”
Santos also paints the recent $450 million auction record breaker, Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Santos’ painting, Salvator Artistis, has the Jesus figure holding a can of special paint made for boats. “It’s the most everlasting paint,” he says. “It’s made to withstand salt and crazy weather. It’s a playful element about the creation of art. Is the painting it’s based on really by da Vinci? It doesn’t matter because art is about the idea. In the background I put a Willem de Kooning, who was very against traditional art and suggested it be removed from museums.”
The Miami artist will also be showing his massive portraits that he has painted on loose pieces of gessoed linen. The paintings are large-scale renderings of sketchbook drawings. “I’m taking them out of the sketchbook and amplifying them onto the raw linen. I prepare the linen with a couple of coats of clear gesso. The paintings are meant to look unfinished because they’re sketchbook drawings made gigantic,” he says, adding that he’s even adding little notes and color samples to give it a more complete sketchbook feel. “What is a masterpiece? Is it something intimate from a sketchbook? Or is it something bigger and done with storytelling in mind? I wanted to ask these questions with these works.”
Courtesy of American Art Collector magazine. For more work by Cesar Santos, click HERE
Theater of Light
In the early 20th century Florenz Ziegfeld, creator of the Ziegfeld Follies musical revues on Broadway, was widely known for his muses, elaborately costumed chorus girls often called Ziegfeld Girls. The girls were the primary residents in Ziegfeld’s fantastical worlds of music and drama. “[H]e simply couldn’t stop being more and more lavish with every show,” wrote his wife after his death in 1932. “...the world remembers Mr. Ziegfeld as the man who revealed a whole new world of color and light and gaiety in the modern musical revue.”
Using the iconic Ziegfeld Girls and the era that they thrived in as inspiration, painter Jeremy Mann will be presenting a new collection of work at an exhibition July 15 at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles. The show will open the gallery’s brand-new space, which will be decorated with the installations the artist used for his photo shoots. For the opening guests are encouraged to come dressed in their finest and interact with the installations. The exhibition is a collaboration with Christina Molcillo of Black Lotus Clothing, who used Ziegfeld Girls as models for her designs, including dresses, gowns, headpieces and other antique materials.
“Many good things come out of collaborations in unexpected ways,” Mann says of working with Molcillo. “Wanting to not only keep my hands from detaining the unexpected, but also with respect to another artist’s unhindered personal visions, Christina developed and created the wardrobe and sets with unobstructed direction, based on a few meetings and her own research into my stylistic tendencies combined with her own artistic style.”
Their collaboration can be seen in works such as Luna and Moonlight, both featuring a female figure elegantly dressed in front of a prop crescent moon. Like Ziegfeld’s girls, and the photos of them that have survived, these figures have an element of theater to their presence amid carefully placed light, oversized stage elements and beautifully designed costuming. They are at once sumptuous and also vulnerable within Mann’s cool shadows and delicate brushstrokes.
“Having a theme to hold everything loosely together and give direction, we both have affections for the 1920s and the Ziegfeld Girl style, crossed with some [Alphonse] Mucha and modernity, as well as theater and darkness,” says Mann. “The moon stage grew from that era’s fascination with it as often seen as a moon with a painted face upon the stage. The timeless feeling is always something I prefer in my paintings, creating a haze of memory and capturing fleeting moments in perpetual paintings which draw up those same emotions, something dreamlike and lost, or a thing once wonderful and now forgotten.”
These “dreamlike” qualities overlap with much of Mann’s current state as an artist, in which he says he’s diving further into the cerebral ether of creation. “I suppose these would be my foggy years. I’ve been exploring deeper into the feelings evoked from atmosphere and light, how their effects work both with and against form, while eliciting emotions of fading memories, things past and times ceaseless endurance,” he says. “Logically this exploration evolved from my endeavors with film and Polaroid photography from the homemade cameras, and now into video and films using homemade lenses to capture that same effect, without the need for digital manipulations—I’ve a badinkling about most things digital. Film and video have a direct connection with ‘time’ and that is something which I desire to have a stronger place in my paintings. What an artist does with their time when not painting affects the painting even more than when they are.”
Mann’s show, which will also feature his bold cityscapes, will continue through August 12 in Los Angeles
To view more of Mann's work, click here.