Alexa Guariglia (American, b. 1990)

Combining the immediacy of drawing with the textual and tonal diversity of painting, Alexa Guariglia's (b. 1990; New York, NY) pictures collate fragmentary memories and moments into immersive wholes. As if by autonomous outpouring, patterns, coded objects, and actions create psychological stages for figures to perform various solitudes in full view. With the physical, emotional, and mental components of art-making as subject and conceptual engine, Guariglia embraces uncertainty and inconsistency as part of her process, freely moving between styles and modes.

 

Using watercolor, ink, and gouache–often in a single picture–the artist achieves a depth of field commonly found in oil painting, as the watercolor and ink soak into the paper and the gouache sits atop it, forming the physical basis for a painterly language inherently tied to its material. As she responds to her own marks in real time, the importance of materials as immediate as her’s becomes apparent. Compositional clues allow the viewer to trace the artist’s steady, searching hand across the page, navigating through tangled bodies and winding patterns. That the pages themselves are often irregular–cut right from the massive standing roll of heavy paper–serves to reinforce the line’s primacy in the artist’s practice.